Solon warns vs. new human trafficking syndicate

By Leonel Abasola

November 21, 2022, 8:57 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday asked government agencies to investigate an alleged large scale Chinese human trafficking operation using Filipinos as recruiters following the rescue of 12 victims in Myanmar.

In a privilege speech, Hontiveros urged the National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine National Police Cybercrime Division to unmask those behind the syndicate.

She identified the bogus call center site as Shwe Kokko Special Economic Zone or Yatai New City, owned by Yatai International Holdings Group.

She also called on the Department of Migrant Workers, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration and Department of Social Welfare and Development to help the rescued victims.

The victims crossed the border of war-torn Myanmar to Thailand and from there, were met by personnel of the Department of Foreign Affairs before heading to the Philippines via Bangkok.

Hontiveros said the 12 victims were recruited as customer service representatives or data encoders, supposedly for Thailand firms, but were instead brought to Myanmar by the Chinese mafia.

They were employed as scammers using cryptocurrency and were not given food and salary if they do not produce results. Some were allegedly threatened with death.

May namumuong masamang plano ang Chinese mafia na ito na gawing all-Filipino team ang mga scammer nila sa Myanmar at iba pang lugar dahil sa ating (The Chinese mafia plans to use all-Filipino teams in Myanmar and other countries because of our) English language proficiency,” Hontiveros said.

She appealed to all government agencies concerned to go after the perpetrators as investment scams and human trafficking also result in labor trafficking, technology-facilitated trafficking, and even sexual trafficking. (PNA)