Thai woman escapes human trafficking ordeal in Cambodia

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

A harrowing account of survival has emerged from a 37 year old Thai woman who fell victim to a human trafficking scheme that led her into the clutches of a call centre scam gang in Poipet, Cambodia.

Pai (pseudonym)’s ordeal began when an acquaintance lured her with the promise of a job that purportedly involved contacting Thais to assist with legal case procedures, offering a monthly salary of around 20,000 baht. However, upon arrival, the grim reality of her situation unfolded.

Pai’s journey from her hometown in Chiang Rai to Bangkok and eventually to Aranyaprathet District in Sa Kaeo Province ended at a facility resembling a hotel but encircled by corrugated iron fencing. Inside, approximately 100 people worked at desks with computers and mobile phones. There, Pai learned the bitter truth: only the first month’s pay would be honoured, with subsequent earnings reduced to a commission of 6%.

The call centre operation was run by Chinese nationals, and overseen by an ethnic Thai who spoke Thai and Chinese languages. Workers mechanically followed a script over the phone, convincing victims of fraudulent transactions or legal matters and then transferring the calls as part of a three-call scam. The workers were untrained and uninformed about the nature of their tasks until it was too late.

Related news

Upon her refusal to participate in the deceitful activities, Pai faced brutal punishments, including physical assaults with chairs and electric batons, even as she pleaded for mercy. Stubborn in her resolve, Pai refused to scam her fellow Thais, enduring daily torment. She prayed to sacred entities for deliverance, promising to become a nun if rescued.

Pai’s captors threatened her with more violence if she attempted to escape, and she witnessed other women being sold into prostitution for their defiance. Living conditions were dire, with ten people sharing a room and one communal bathroom. Meals were provided four times a day, but medical care was inaccessible.

Chance to escape

The opportunity for escape presented itself when police raids forced the gang to flee. Pai, seizing the moment amidst the chaos, concealed her passport and managed to escape with five others. They paid 2,500 baht each to secure their return to Thailand, reported KhaoSod.

Reflecting on the two weeks of hellish conditions, Pai expressed her disbelief at the prospect of survival. The criminals’ mantra, “Are you defiant?” echoed as a constant reminder of her precarious situation.

Pai, who previously struggled to make ends meet through construction work with her brothers, described her experience as jumping from the tiger’s den into the crocodile’s pond. Now, having narrowly escaped a fate worse than death, Pai seeks assistance from the Paveena Foundation to help her recover from the traumatic experience and move forward with her life.

Crime NewsThailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

Related Articles