Several Indonesian residents have become the latest foreigners being lured into the online gambling industry of Cambodia with attractive job offers.
According to media reports, in February, more than 160 people were rescued by the Indonesian Embassy from Chinese gambling companies based in Cambodia that extorted and confined them after forcing them into working in the local online gambling sector. The Khmer Times quoted some sources and revealed that the latest rescue organized by the Indonesian Embassy took place on February 26th and involved a total of 44 Indonesian people who were held by an online gambling company operating in the Koh Thom district of Kandal province.
The Indonesians were rescued following a few days of planning, coordination and negotiations between the Indonesian Embassy and the police forces of Cambodia.
After the rescue operation, many of the victims explained that they had literally been sold by the previous company that brought them into Cambodia. Then, they were relocated from Preah Sihanouk province to the country’s Kandal province. Furthermore, they claimed that all of them have been lured into working for online gambling syndicates in Cambodia after they had been deceived with the promises of lucrative salaries, along with free accommodation and board.
Indonesians Forced to Work for at Least 12 Hours a Day by Chinese Gambling Companies in Cambodia
A source close to the issue revealed that the Indonesian people in question had been forced to work for no less than 12 hours a day, just like some other foreign residents who worked for the scamming Chinese gambling operators. The source further noted that the Indonesians were threatened by the company they worked for to reach a certain number of scammed victims every single day. They were also required to pay the operator between $3,000 and $5,000 in order to be allowed to leave the company.
According to the source familiar with the matter, the Indonesian Embassy had received similar reports from Indonesian citizens in many parts of Cambodia, including Phnom Penh, Bavet, Kampot, Koh Kong, and Poipet.
The investigations revealed that most of the Indonesians arrived in Cambodia not with a work visa, but with a tourist visa, and the Chinese gambling syndicates seized their passports as they started working for them. In many cases, the Indonesian workers’ passports were given or even sold to other gambling operators. Reports say that the Indonesian Embassy in the country has managed to identify some of the syndicates’ agents who were involved in the schemes and filed reports to the police forces to charge them for human trafficking.
Media reports note that such scams initially involved only Cambodian and Chinese nationals, but the schemes then expanded to involve individuals originating from foreign countries.
Lately, employment scam operations that involve Chinese gambling companies have been among the hottest topics in Cambodia. Even Cambodia’s Chinese Chamber of Commerce has called for the authorities to take actions against such companies, claiming that the operators affected the business climate in the country, not to mention they acted cruelly in terms of foreign workers.