BI: Trafficking victim repatriated after paying company P200,000 for release
MANILA, Philippines — A trafficking victim has been repatriated after paying his company an amount of P200,000 in exchange for his release, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported on Monday.
The bureau identified the victim as “Gio,” a 33-year-old Filipino forced to work as a scammer for a Chinese company in Myanmar and could only go home last Tuesday, September 22.
“He was only able to return home after pooling P200,000 from family and friends to pay his company for his release,” BI stated.
The bureau said that Gio departed in September 2022, claiming that he was bound for a vacation in Thailand, but later on, he admitted that he was actually about to work as a customer service representative.
After arriving in Thailand, the BI said he was transferred to Myawaddy, Myanmar, where he was forced to work as an online love scammer, attracting foreign victims to invest in pseudo-cryptocurrency accounts.
According to the BI, Gio was recruited by a certain Liza, whom he met online and promised him a monthly salary of up to P100,000. However, he only received a salary of P60,000 per month — far from his recruiter’s claim.
The BI also noted that Liza even asked Gio to pay P20,000 for his travel expenses, which was deducted from his salary.
Gio was already assisted by the National Bureau of Investigation and the Overseas Workers Welfare Association, the BI said.
On the other hand, based on the information provided by the bureau, Gio flew to Thailand with two other friends in 2022. INQUIRER.net sought more details, but BI has yet to comment.
Meanwhile, BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco has already sounded the alarm on trafficking since last year and said that the modus is to target Filipinos to work for scamming companies.
“This is a case of double trafficking, wherein the victims are trafficked by making them agree through false promises, and then they will be forced to be part of a scamming syndicate making it hard for them to seek help and repatriation,” Tansingco said in a statement from the BI.