- On Monday, sen. Risa Hontiveros disclosed a rumored human trafficking scheme.
- The 12 Filipinos were saved from Myanmar.
- The mafia was using the fluency of Filipinos in English to further their plot.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros revealed a purported human trafficking plan on Monday. This was allegedly carried out by a “Chinese mafia” that recruited Filipinos to work as “crypto scammers” in Myanmar.
Senator Risa Hontiveros stated that 12 Filipinos were saved from Myanmar. This was through a network of humanitarian groups in an address to the Senate on Monday, November 21.
The Department of Foreign Affairs representatives received them when they arrived in Thailand. The Filipinos were allegedly recruited through different social media networks. Surprisingly, they were enticed as call center agents or employees for Philippine offshore gambling businesses.
However, they were compelled to participate in a cryptocurrency fraud after they were in Myanmar. This required connecting with victims through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tinder dating app.
In a video recording, a Filipino called “Rita,” not her real name, said that after gaining the trust of unsuspecting victims, they move the conversations to WhatsApp and Telegram.
From there, they share a link to crypto platforms and urge victims to deposit cash. After the victims deposit a substantial amount, they can no longer access the crypto wallet.
Further, the victims were also carefully selected: Filipinos who were forced into the scam had to talk to the victims at night when people felt the most empty and lonely.
“You accompany him at this time, just give him enough love. The night is the best time to touch people’s hearts. (The purpose is) to make him like you, trust you, depend on you, and want to get you right away,” – a workflow document of the scam read.
Hontiveros added that the mafia was using the fluency of Filipinos in English to further their plot.
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