Social media influencer, 2 others saved from trafficking ring in Myanmar
MANILA, Philippines — Three victims of alleged human trafficking, including a social media influencer, were rescued and repatriated from Myanmar, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Tuesday.
According to the bureau, the victims left the country in April for Singapore and posed as tourists.
“They admitted that they were recruited online to work in a call center in Thailand, only to find out that they were being transferred to Yangon, Myanmar to work in a pseudo-call center involved in scamming,” the BI said in a statement.
The BI did not reveal the names of the victims but said one of them was a social media influencer who has more than 10,000 subscribers. It also described the victims as individuals in their 20s and early 30s.
The agency said the victims returned to the Philippines on June 15 and were assisted by authorities upon their arrival.
BI chief Norman Tansingco reiterated his warning for Filipinos not to leave the country as tourists when seeking work abroad.
“Leaving as tourists makes you more vulnerable, and we have received reports of victims being physically abused by these traffickers. If you wish to work abroad, do so legally, through the Department of Migrant Workers,” he said.
According to the BI, human trafficking, especially through online means, was already deemed by the International Criminal Police Organization as a “global threat” that has victimized many Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines.
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Aside from Myanmar, DMW also looks into human trafficking in Cambodia, Laos