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Rhodilee Jean Dolor
1 week, 2 days ago

Man Held Captive in ‘Scam Compound’ and Forced To Target Westerners With Crypto Schemes: Report

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A Malaysian man who responded to a job ad on Facebook reportedly fell victim to a human trafficking syndicate that forced him to engage in crypto scams.

CBC reports that the man, only referred to as John to protect his identity, answered a post on a Facebook group promoting a purported customer service job with a Cambodian casino.

After losing his job during the Covid-19 pandemic, the employer offered to fly John with all expenses paid from Thailand, where he was based, to Sihanoukville, a coastal city in Cambodia.

But when he arrived, the supposed employer confiscated his passport and locked him up on the fourth floor of a compound, where he was held with other captives for four months.

John, who speaks three languages, says he was forced to target Canadians and other English-speaking Westerners for a crypto scam known as pig-butchering. The scheme involves scammers building relationships with their prospective victims to gain their trust and get them to invest their money in crypto assets.

John initiated conversations with strangers online and persuaded them to make shady crypto investments. He was expected to entice 15 new target victims per day.

“We [were] always on the fourth floor to eat, to work, to sleep, to take a shower. Once you get into the scam compound, that might be your life – gone.”

He says the traffickers beat or electric-shocked them when they did not follow the rules.

John attempted to escape by using an online messaging app on his phone to ask for help, but he was caught and sold to another scam company for $11,000.

At the new company, John tried to call for help again using a fake account on social media platform X. He reached out to the International Justice Mission (IJM), a non-profit that aims to protect people from trafficking and modern-day slavery.

Jake Sims, IJM’s country director for Cambodia, worked with authorities to rescue him.

Sims says John is an ideal target for traffickers.

“Your typical profile is someone who probably speaks a couple of languages, is college-educated, probably is quite savvy with technology, with social media.

They’re out of work, they’re seeking quite high-risk employment opportunities, so they are desperate.”

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