3 OFWs in Myanmar Rescued After Forced to Work as Scammers

3 OFWs in Myanmar Rescued After Forced to Work as Scammers

September 22, 2023 by Jay-r Santiago in Categories News

Authorities Rescued 3 OFWs in Myanmar After Enduring Forced Labor as Scammers

ILLEGAL RECRUITMENT VICTIMS – Three OFWs in Myanmar have been rescued after enduring forced labor as scammers, as well as being chained and electrocuted.

The victims had initially been promised legitimate employment as call center agents but ended up trapped in a tragic situation far from home. Their spouses shared the tragic experiences they had endured at the hands of their recruiters.

The illegal recruiters promised them monthly earnings exceeding P50,000, including commissions. These false assurances painted an attractive picture of opportunities awaiting them in a foreign land.

The recruitment process involved interactions on social media platforms, particularly Facebook, where the victims were enticed by individuals claiming they would handle expenses upon arrival and share profits accordingly.

The OFWs traveled from Zamboanga to Malaysia, then to Thailand, and finally another boat ride to Myanmar. Inhumane treatment included being electrocuted and severely beaten before being allowed to eat two pieces of bread and drink mineral water.

“Scammer po sila. Kapag naka-invest na ng buong pera ang tao hindi na nila ibabalik, sa kumpanya na nila mapupunta ang perang yun,” wife of one of the victims said.

One OFW’s spouse described how they were only able to escape by paying blood money, which permitted them to leave the compound in the hope that someone, whether Myanmar or Thai police, would come to their help.

The overseas Filipino workers reached out to the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking for help. However, the agency failed to provide any ransom money for the victims.

Previously, several OFWs in South Korea fell victim to scam

Undersecretary Nicholas Ty shared that human traffickers were enticing vulnerable individuals with the promise of high salaries to escape poverty. The suspects confiscate the passports of their victims upon arrival in a foreign country.

“Iyong mga passport, pagdating nila sa ibang bansa ay kinukuha iyong mga passport nila, sama-sama iyong mga passport ng mga iba‘t ibang mga banyagang manggagawa, that’s another indication of human trafficking. Tapos kung may mga abuso na nagaganap sa kanila tuwing, halimbawa, hindi sila kumu-quota o gusto nilang umalis, iyan, isa pa iyang badge of human trafficking,” said Ty.

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