Hong Konger stuck in Myanmar pleads for help after being kidnapped in Thailand

A man from Hong Kong has contacted an anti-trafficking NGO pleading for help. He says he is currently detained and being forced to work as a scammer in Myanmar after he was kidnapped in Thailand. The man, 30 year old John, says he has been trapped for three months so far, and “escape is not an option.”

John said he travelled to Thailand for a holiday after being invited by a friend. However, when he got to Thailand, he was captured by a human trafficking gang who confiscated his passport and took him to Myanmar, he told the Stop Trafficking of People organisation in a voice recording.

John reported that armed men are forcing him to run scams…

“I have seen people who tried to escape but failed, they were shot and carried back in… escape is not an option.”

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“It’s very stressful. Money comes before everything. if I cannot meet the revenue quota they may send me someplace else, where conditions could be ten times worse.”

John contacted the NGO after his pleas for help from the Chinese embassy in Myanmar were ignored. He said the embassy told him the situation was “beyond their control” and must be left to the Chinese government.

The news comes just one week after 28 year old Tsang, also from Hong Kong, told his story of travelling to Thailand to meet a “lover” he met online but was instead captured and trafficked to Myanmar.

Tsang also reported being forced to work as a scammer by human traffickers. Tsang said he was detained, beaten up, and sometimes tasered by the gang.

Tsang was taken back to the Thai border after one month after his family paid a ransom to the human traffickers.

Hong Kong authorities say that so far this year, 39 Hong Kongers have asked for help since falling victim to human trafficking scams. They believe that 21 Hong Kongers are currently being held captive in Myanmar and Cambodia.

Victims have reported travelling to Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos on false promises of romance or high-paying jobs and then being detained and forced to work.

Programme Manager of Stop Trafficking of People Organisation Michelle Wong reports that Southeast Asian human trafficking rings are increasingly targeting young, educated Chinese people to fall victim to scams.

Hong Kong has set up a task force to help human trafficking victims and created a government-run mobile application that victims can use to submit details and send photos of their surroundings so they can access help.

Thailand was recently promoted from Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 in the US’s yearly human trafficking report due to the country’s “significant efforts” to eliminate human trafficking.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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