Indian workers rescued from job scams in Southeast Asia

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian government said on Friday it had rescued about 130 Indian workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia after they were lured by agents for bogus job opportunities in the technology sector. information in Thailand.

Arindam Bagchi, spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs, said some fraudulent IT companies appear to be involved in digital scam and counterfeit cryptocurrencies. Indian workers were held captive and forced to commit cyber fraud, he told reporters.

The companies appear to be operating through agents in Dubai, Bangkok and some Indian cities and recruiting Indian workers via social media advertisements for high-paying bogus jobs in Thailand, he said.

Many workers were illegally taken across the border to an area of ​​Myanmar that was difficult to access due to the local security situation, Bagchi said.

He said nearly 50 workers had been flown back to India from Myanmar, while others were still in custody for questioning because they entered the country illegally without visas.

He said another 80 Indian workers had been rescued from Cambodia and Laos.

Last month, MP Stalin, the highest elected official in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi that 300 Indians, including some 50 Tamils ​​from the State, were being held captive in Myanmar.

Citizens of other countries in the region have been victims of similar scams.

On Thursday, 21 Malaysians rescued from human traffickers in Cambodia and Laos returned home. Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said the government had now rescued 273 of the 401 missing in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. Most have returned, except for 60 people still in migrant detention centers in those countries awaiting processing, he said.

A UN envoy said the scam rings, which often have links to transnational organized crime, are set up in countries with weak law enforcement, attracting young, educated workers with high income promises. The workers are then subjected to isolation and the threat of violence unless they succeed in tricking the victims reached by telephone into transferring the payments to bank accounts abroad.

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