68 Thais rescued from slave conditions at Chinese-run call centres


The authorities rescued 68 Thais forced to work at illegal call centres in Cambodia and sent them back to Thailand on Friday.

In joint operations on April 10 and 11, Thai and Cambodian police rescued the workers from call centres in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Krong Bavet on the border with Vietnam.

The rescued workers returned to Thailand via Sa Kaew’s Aranyaprathet district on the border.

They said they had been lured by offers of well-paying jobs and travelled from Bangkok and other provinces to Sa Kaew province before entering Cambodia on foot via the natural border.

Upon arrival, they were taken to a building before being allotted to different Chinese bosses. Their job was to scam people into making investments. If they refused they would be hurt or confined. Some were even sold to other Chinese conmen for US$3,000.

Their call for help was eventually heard by Thai authorities, who then took steps to rescue them. Another 1,000 or so Thais are allegedly stranded in similar circumstances in other cities in Cambodia.

Police say that the rescued workers have been providing valuable information and investigators will hunt down those responsible for trafficking them out of Thailand.

People can report human-trafficking crimes or crimes against women or children by calling the 1599 hotline, via https://humantrafficking.police.go.th, Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/antihumantraffickingpolice/, Line @HUMANTRAFFICKTH, Twitter @safe_dek or by scanning the QR code.