MANILA — Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday bared another case of human trafficking scheme forcing Filipinos to serve as "crypto scammers," this time in Cambodia.
“Filipinos are becoming the main target of human trafficking syndicates. Matapos nating matulungan ang ilang Pinoy sa Myanmar na inaabuso at sapilitang pinagtrabaho bilang crypto scammer, ngayon, malalaman nating meron din palang ganitong modus sa Cambodia. These fraud factories are part of a disturbing industry that has to be dismantled,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
Last year, the senator also exposed that Chinese syndicates were trafficking Filipinos to Myanmar to scam foreigners into putting money into fake crypto accounts.
According to Hontiveros, one of the victims reached out to her office to detail their ordeal in Cambodia.
The victim said they were promised customer service or call center jobs in Cambodia but ended up being forced to dupe citizens from countries like the US and Canada of their life savings.
The victim said some of them were starved or even electrocuted when they fail to dupe any clients.
Hontiveros said many other Filipinos remain in Cambodia awaiting rescue from authorities.
“I trust that our DFA can bring our kababayans home as soon as possible. I also expect that we keep closely working with ASEAN member-states to strategize how to effectively put a lid on these criminal activities. It is unacceptable that this devastating scheme keeps roping in our hardworking men and women,” Hontiveros said.
The senator said she intends to disclose more details during the next Senate hearing on this particular issue.
"Clearly, this is an industrial complex that involves various actors from around Southeast Asia and beyond. Baka kone-konektado ang mga kriminal na nang-aabuso at nananamantala ng mga Pilipinong nais lamang maghanap ng disenteng trabaho,” the senator said.
During Hontiveros' first exposé, the Department of Migrant Workers said they would look into the matter and ordered authorities to assist the Filipinos rescued from the scam.