Thousands of Filipinos, Others Rescued From Forced Cybercrime Labor

Workers were lured in by false job promises from Facebook ads, only to be tricked into committing cybercrimes with no way out.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

June 29, 2023

1 Min Read
a person with a hoodie on shown from the back typing a bunch of code onto a computer shown the monitor screen.
Source: Victor Koldunoc via Alamy Stock Photo

Thousands of workers in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and a host of other countries who were tricked into performing forced labor for cybercrime groups, including running fake online gaming sites, were rescued in a raid on June 27 by the Filipino police. 

Workers that had previously attempted to quit were forced to pay large amounts of money for the privilege, and others were afraid that they would be sold into other human-trafficking syndicates. They were lured in by Facebook ads with promises of high salaries and fair working conditions.

The head of the anti-cybercrime unit of the Philippines police, Brigadier General Sydney Hernia, said that police searched various buildings in Las Pinas with warrants, rescuing 1,534 Filipinos and 1,190 others from a variety of different countries. This comes after a police raid in May at the Clark Freeport in Mabalacat City, where roughly 1,400 workers were rescued after being forced to commit cryptocurrency crimes. 

Muhammah Mahfud, Indonesian Minister, said that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) needs to make progress on a regional extradition treaty that has been long proposed, which would ultimately help authorities prosecute these kinds of offenders and mitigate the escalating human trafficking and cybercrimes in these regions.

It is currently unknown how many of the cybercrime syndicate leaders were arrested in the police raid. 

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Dark Reading Staff

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