Aspiring OFWs warned vs slave-like abuse to trafficking victims

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Manila, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has issued a warning to Filipinos who plan to work overseas about the abusive situations faced by Filipino trafficking victims in Asian countries.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco stated that these victims are essentially enslaved, with limited phone access and long working hours. He specifically referenced a recent case involving a 30-year-old Filipino trafficking victim who was repatriated from Myanmar.

The victim had to pay over half a million pesos for his release but managed to negotiate it down to just over PHP168,000. The victim was working for a love scam and cryptocurrency company, being forced to work 16 to 18 hours a day and facing physical torture if he failed to meet his weekly quota. This is not an isolated incident, and similar trafficking schemes were discussed among immigration leaders in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The possibility of links to larger syndicates is being investigated.

In a separate incident, authorities raided a Philippine offshore gaming operator service provider and discovered around 650 Filipino and foreign workers engaged in love scams, investment fraud schemes, and gaming manipulation.