October 20, 2021

FEATURE-Chinese scammers enslave jobless teachers and tourists in Cambodia

* Foreigners lured by adverts offering call center jobs * Held against their will, victims forced into online scams

* Pandemic makes it easier for gangs to exploit foreigners * China links kidnapping, trafficking to online gambling

Foreign workers and tourists stranded in Cambodia during the COVID-19 pandemic have been trafficked and forced to work in sophisticated Chinese-run online scams, a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation has found.

In interviews, nine trafficking victims said they were lured by social media adverts promising well-paid jobs in call centers. Instead, they ended up in shuttered hotel-casinos and guarded compounds where they had their passports confiscated before being put to work online.

The victims, mainly from Africa and Asia, said they were ordered to create fake profiles on Tinder, WhatsApp, and Facebook to entice people into fraudulent…

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