INTERPOL issues global warning on human trafficking-fueled fraud. In recent years, INTERPOL has been closely monitoring a disturbing crime trend involving large-scale human trafficking. This phenomenon revolves around the exploitation of victims who are enticed through fake job advertisements and then forced to engage in cyber-enabled financial crimes at online scam centers.
This alarming trend has affected tens of thousands of individuals in Southeast Asia, with numerous victims being defrauded worldwide. The gravity of the situation has garnered significant media attention and prompted responses from governments and civil society.
The Modus Operandi (MO) of this crime trend is rapidly intensifying and assuming a global dimension. This is according to new research conducted by INTERPOL. The organization has issued an Orange Notice to its members, serving as a global warning of the imminent threat to public safety.
INTERPOL issues global warning on human trafficking-fueled fraud
Initially, online scam centers were concentrated in Cambodia, with additional trafficking hubs identified in Laos and Myanmar. However, the MO has expanded to at least four other Asian countries and has shown indications of replication in regions like West Africa. There, cyber-enabled financial crime is already prevalent.
The victims of these crimes are also becoming more geographically diverse. The initial targets primarily consisted of Chinese-speaking individuals from countries such as China, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. But the trafficking networks have extended their reach. Victims are now being trafficked to Southeast Asia from regions as far away as South America, East Africa, and Western Europe.
This alarming development has transformed what was once a regional crime threat into a global human trafficking crisis. This is demanding urgent attention and concerted efforts from the international community to prevent its further spread.
Jürgen Stock, the Secretary General of INTERPOL, emphasizes the gravity of the situation, stating that anyone in the world could potentially fall victim to either human trafficking or the online scams orchestrated by these criminal hubs. Stock stresses the critical need for enhanced international police cooperation to effectively combat and eradicate this escalating crime trend.
Read more at INTERPOL