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2 Sep 2022

Resty Woro Yuniar, South China Morning Post

Indonesia & Cambodia crack down job scams for fraudulent investment companies or gambling websites

"Indonesia and Cambodia crack down on ‘aggressive’ Chinese-run job scams as more victims emerge", 2 September 2022

Indonesia will boost police cooperation with Cambodia to prevent more Indonesians from falling victim to bogus job offers, as employment scams across Southeast Asia continue to ensnare young victims from various places, including Hong Kong.

In cases that have been reported in countries like Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, victims are forced to work long hours running online scams, and are held against their will by employers that sometimes sell these workers to another criminal enterprise. The migrants are usually drawn in by the false promise of high salaries in US dollars, but in reality get paid little or not at all.

Indonesian victims were employed as online scammers for fraudulent investment companies or online gambling websites. Their passports were seized by their employers, who had to pay the commission for the recruiters that lured these workers.


In total, 446 Indonesians fell victims to the scams from January to August 2022, a sharp increase from a total of 119 last year, Retno said. All the victims were rescued and repatriated, including 225 Indonesians held captive in the seaside town of Sihanoukville. All the victims used tourist visas, instead of work visas, to work in Cambodia.


Bobi of the migrant workers union urged authorities to create an information system listing legitimate vacancies overseas, to stop recruiters from baiting victims on social media.