Research paper
May 27, 2023

Cyber Slavery, a Multi-Billion $ Crypto Scam Industry & the Chinese Mob? The Insane Story of Pig-butchering.

Cyber Slavery, a Multi-Billion $ Crypto Scam Industry & the Chinese Mob? The Insane Story of Pig-butchering.

Tens of thousands of human-trafficked victims forced under threat of torture, sexual abuse, and death to scam people around the world in industrial-scale scam centers after being taught psychological warfare?

A crypto crime industry worth billions of dollars defrauded from unsuspecting people?

And throw in there the Chinese Mafia?

Yes, you heard it right.

This unimaginable scenario does not come straight from a B-movie, this is reality.

This global scam has a name, it’s called pig-butchering, a fitting name since it refers to “a farmer fattening up a hog before slaughtering it”.

And Cambodia is at its epicenter, Myanmar & Laos following suit.

Forced Labor Compounds in Southeast Asia I Map by Lucas Waldron, ProPublica

This is where enslaved, imprisoned, and abused workforce experiences what the UN Special rapporteur called a “living hell”.

This never seen before mix of cyber slavery and scam industry has found its home in whole cities built around them. Industrial scam centers, prisons really, which for some sit right across Cambodia’s Prime Minister’s house.

All of this built to serve one purpose: trapping people into depositing money into fake crypto platforms.

Their tools?

Sophisticated scams built on intricate psychological manipulation tactics.

In this article, we decided to offer you a full picture of the situation. From the genesis of pig-butchering, to breaking down how enslaved scammers and scam victims were entrapped to where we’re now. Our article could not have existed without the remarkable investigation work of many entities and people, you will find all of our sources at the end of this article.

Let’s get into it!

I. The Genesis of the Pig-Butchering Industry

To explain what happened there is no quote as relevant as this one:

“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” — A.Einstein

The pig-butchering industry could have never seen the light of the day if not for a set of crises that prompted its makers into this path.

In fact, these pig-butchering-hub-cities were never created to serve this purpose.

A rundown of how Pig-butchering became what it is today:

2016: The Move

In 2016, Chinese criminal syndicates, among which Triad members if not leaders, had to deal with a huge blow. China and the Philippines had just launched a crackdown on illegal gambling, transnational cyber gambling, and casino proxy gambling aimed mainly at Chinese citizens.

The Philippines had become a gambling hub led by the Chinese Mafia, turning it into ”China’s virtual casino” (IRL Casino too) since Chinese Law forbids citizens from gambling at home. For the Chinese government, gambling is ”harmful to the economic security” of the country alongside its image and stability. So they operated their casino trade aimed at Chinese Citizens from afar.

This huge crackdown basically brought their activities to a stop in the Philippines, they had to relocate.

And what better place than Cambodia to act as a substitute?

. Close to China

. Loose gaming regulations

. Its government “welcomed Chinese investment”

Yes, you heard it right, “ Chinese investment”.

A crucial piece of the puzzle to understand how the Chinese mob gangrened Cambodia is that they presented themselves as real estate tycoon.

They advertised plans to build megacities with high-end housing estates that would welcome the rich Chinese citizens that would flock to these cities,-they promised-, industrial zones,... and, of course, casinos. In short, they promised to rebuild cities almost from the ground up, and damn they did! Just maybe not exactly as they promised.

The “Before/After” promised to make of Sihanoukville the second Shenzen I source

Sihanoukville, known today as the pig-butchering capital, received millions of dollars from Chinese investors, and the city was transformed from a cute and quiet beach resort to “a metropolis of casinos and ghostly towers in various stages of construction or decay”.

Sihanoukville I source

This is how casino hubs that would later become pig-butchering metropolises started to spread widely in the country until 2019.

2019-2020: The Crises

2019 & 2020 are pivotal years in the pig-butchering industry history:

2019 - The First Blow: Cambodia pressured by China,-which was on a mission to curb overseas online gambling by its citizens-, ban online gambling.

Casinos are left standing on one leg: IRL gambling.


2020 - The Second Blow: Covid-19 struck. The casino cities are emptied of customers and workers.

TL;DR: Ruin was awaiting them.

2020: The Birth of the Pig-butchering Industry

But Jason Tower, Myanmar country director for the United States Institute of Peace, told Propublica “They’re criminal businesses, but they’re businesses at the end of the day,” he said. “So what did they do? They adapted.”

And adapt they did.

They came up with a new scheme that would prove their most lucrative move yet.

Covid-19 created a set of circumstances that would provide an incredibly fertile ground for the emergence of the pig-butchering Industry.

We dare call them the unholy Trinity:

  1. The pandemic was an economic hit on average workers that created a desperate job-seeking workforce, among which many with computer skills = future human-trafficked victims
  2. Covid-19 let a lot of the global population, especially at its peak, feel extremely vulnerable, anxious, uncertain, afraid, and often seeking a way to build financial safety. Cryptocurrencies, although most people knew nothing about how it worked, just that “if you get in it you will get rich quick”, became a possibility, triggering a massive influx of new entrants= future scams victims rip for the picking
  3. Do you remember the first months of 2020, the first year of Covid-19, when a large number of people across the globe found themselves under lockdown or on full-time remote work? Locked at home, being on our phones helped to kill time. It was thanks to this that TikTok big banged in 2020. People were non-stop on their phones = exactly where the scammers needed them

The stars were all aligned in favor of a new scheme that would involve trafficked humans serving on an industrial scale as scammers who would prey unwillingly on vulnerable people around the globe.

In 2021, the ones who were involved in these Casino-cities schemes repurposed their emptied real-estates into a scamming base of operations. And, without looking back, became full-time, full-fledged, slavers. So at ease with what they do that they have Telegram groups where they sell and buy their future “slaves”. (full story here)

As for their future victims, when they once only targeted inhabitants of the APAC(Asia-pacific), they decided to go global and target with their new scheme wealthy Westerners.

Now that they had a plan, an (unwilling) workforce, and a designed target, they just went for it and thus the Pig-butchering industry was born.

It must be emphasized that this industry could have been nipped in the bud, instead of thriving to the scale it does today. If these scammers were able to implement successfully, in plain sight, a shift that included armed compounds with thousands of enslaved people in them, it’s because local authorities turned a blind eye to what was happening. These cyberfraud operations in Cambodia often have links “not just to organized crime but also to the country’s political and business elites.”

In many cases “these scamming companies are backed up by senior Cambodian officials who benefit financially from these corrupt companies”, said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

That’s how, in a very burlesque fashion, these scam facilities, which are housed “in everything from office buildings to garish casino complexes”, can also be found diagonally across the street from the summer residence of the Cambodian prime minister. This is where the White Sand Palace, a gambling establishment, also houses pig-butchering operations on multiple floors.

“The White Sand Palace in Sihanoukville is only a block or so from the prime minister’s summer residence.” Source: Propublica

So, no wonder Cambodia became the beating heart of the Pig-butchering industry and had the US State Department downgrade “Cambodia to the lowest tier on its annual assessment of how well countries are meeting standards for eliminating human trafficking” in July 2022.

Now that we know how the Pig-butchering industry emerged, let’s dive into the peculiarities of this complex scam organization.

II. The Human-Trafficked Cyber Slavery Industry

The scammers have a well-defined and extremely successful strategy when it comes to entrapping people into slavery.

First, it is to be noted that although human-trafficked people are often poor and vulnerable, in this case, the people they trap come from all walks of life from cook chiefs to engineers because they need people who can sometimes speak more than one language and are computer-savvy.

It’s impossible to know the exact number of people who have been trafficked, for now, it is estimated at tens of thousands of people from across Asia, it could be much more.

Human-trafficked victims’ origins I source

Secondly, although there are always variations, the Scammers/Slavers seem to stick to the following Modus Operandi:

1. The Trap

All begin with phony job ads. They are posted mainly on Facebook but you can find them on other social media too. They offer enticing wages by local standards, but nothing so far-fetched it would ring alarm bells in their future victims. To finish convincing them they propose to fly them in.

One example of the phony job ads, this one destinated towards Malaysians I source

2. Kidnapping & Imprisonment

Once the victim has arrived at the airport, not-very-corporate-but-very-tug-looking people “escort” them to their car if they do not protest, throw them in it if they do. They then proceed to wrest from them their passports. They bring them to highly secured compounds, establishments,... heavily guarded most of the time by gun-wielding men and sometimes they even have barbed wire and iron fencing. In other words, they are now prisoners with no way out. And they were doomed from the moment they set foot out of the airport.

“Barbed wire fences are seen outside a shuttered Great Wall Park compound where Cambodian authorities said they had recovered evidence of human trafficking” I source

3. Adapt or Be Tortured

Shortly after their arrival, they are briefed or learn through unnamable experiences about what the rules of their new lives are.

The work they will be assigned has nothing to do with what they signed for (which most of the victims had guessed by then). They are handed 101 self-made guidebooks about how to scam people and told to learn them and once they do they will be given the tools needed to scam them: phones and a computer.

“A photo from inside a scam center in Cambodia. The group chat on the computer screen provides scamming tips. ” PHOTO: CHINESE-CAMBODIA CHARITY TEAM I source

Victims will be paid a non-existent “wage” based on commissions that will serve to pay back a “debt” they never contracted aka a ransom. If they want to be freed they have to pay a tremendous ransom, but the based-on-commission salaries are so low they have no hope to pay it back.

A little side note here about why “cyber slaves” are being paid “wages”, we have a theory that it serves possibly two purposes. By giving hope even as slim and non-existent as this one, it’s still a hope of getting out of this “living hell” and they could see it as a way to stop enslaved people from going to extremes. The second one is a legal reason. These scammers have argued multiple times (and won) that the human-trafficked victims are not “slaves” or “trafficked” since they came of their own will and are paid wages. That the allegation made against them was defamation coming from a disgruntled employee.

If they refuse to comply and work at defrauding people, they will either suffer from food deprivation, electrocution and other tortures, sexual abuse, extremely violent beating and, ultimately, in some cases, death.

A man watches a video of abuse inside Cambodian cyber-scam operations I source

They have to work non-stop, around the clock, as a victim told Propublica their days were made of “either eating, sleeping or working”. Their working hours matched the GMT of their target locations.

Their sleeping quarters were dorm rooms with bunk beds. They weren't allowed outside, for the ones working in casinos they could sometimes access them, probably so that the victims would become even more indebted to the scammers.

Indonesian victims in a scam center I source

Thankfully, some of them succeed in escaping and sometimes even freeing other people alongside them.

Testimonies from survivors for AlJazeera’s documentary ”Forced to Scam: Cambodia’s Cyber Slave” I A word of caution: this documentary contains graphic images and sounds of what they went through.

But most of them are still held hostage and are still enslaved today.

Every day new victims board a plane that sends them straight to a nightmare.

The worst of it maybe?

Although these people could probably never fathom scamming people in their existence, and had no skill for it, in the space of weeks they are turned into talented scammers that will have you empty willfully your bank account in a blink.

That’s probably the most crucial, intriguing, and scary part about this whole affair.

How do you turn an unskilled person into a performant scammer in a matter of weeks?

Well, it’s thanks to advanced psychological manipulation strategies the scammers put together to defraud people.

This is how you and I and everyone else could get scammed one day:

III. The Pig-butchering Scam

“There is no unscammable person. Only scripts that don't fit.”

This eye-opening quote comes straight out of one of the many “detailed, psychologically astute training materials” given to human-trafficked victims. A kind of 101 of ``How to Build Trust to Better Betray” or a “ How to seduce away money from people for Dummies”.

This may sound ridiculous but here’s the truth of it: this multi-billion crypto crime industry is almost entirely built on these guidebooks or at least the manipulation techniques in them.

Scammers are often portrayed as these not especially clever but very cunning people who succeed in entrapping “dumb” people.

Since the only victims of scams are “dumb people”, scammers’ intelligence is perceived as not something to write home about, they are well, just good at spotting dumb people right?

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We will go back to the subject of who are the victims later, but one thing is for sure none of them were “dumb”. Being scammed or not has little to nothing to do with intelligence.

And scammers? They are masters of their craft.

The fraud they build is “socially engineered to enhance compliance, in which a scammer may pretend to be a friend over a course of many months, building trust and creating plausible scenarios”, says Martina Dove in her book “The Psychology of Fraud, Persuasion and Scam Techniques”. They adapt quickly “ to current events and are inventive in designing scams that vary in narrative and are highly persuasive” she adds, as proven in the pig-butchering case.

They take what makes us humans and use it against us.

They have a deep understanding of human psychology, built on years of tests and learning experiences.

Seeing the complexity and the almost genius of their manipulation strategies, it’s hard to believe it had not been built by top psychologists!

The very sophisticated MO they have put together more or less always follow the same script, so here’s a step-by-step explanation of how they entrap unsuspecting people:

Introductory Notes:

  • Pig-butchering scams are at their heart very simple: build fake online friendships or romantic relationships to ensnare their victims.
  • The timeline is usually very short between the first contact with the victim and their total ruin: approximately 3 weeks up to 2 months
  • Enslaved soon-to-be scammers are given intricate scripts on how to build a rapport with their future victims they have to gobble up on a short timeline. They also have to familiarize themselves with the tools they will have to use to extract money like bogus crypto investment platforms.

STEP 1 - Building Trust

Building their Persona.

They have to create an attractive online persona from scratch to woo their targets online. Their persona is built regardless of their own gender, they could in one conversation be a man, in another be a woman. In Propublica, a human-trafficked victim reported that:

“ His operation bought photos and videos from websites that cater to such operations. For example, bundles of hundreds of photos of good-looking women and men are available for less than the cost of a cup of coffee from a shop called YouTaoTu.”

Their persona has to be rich:

  • The best way to be believable when tangling the get-rich-quick carotte
  • To not foster suspicion from the victim. They will be less likely to think that the trap is a scheme if they think their scammer does not need the money.
  • MOST IMPORTANT: (unfortunately) Rich people are perceived as “more trustworthy” (Perceived Socioeconomic Status Modulates Judgments of Trustworthiness and Trust Behavior Based on Facial Appearance Front Psychol. 2018; 9: 512.)

So to caught their victims the newly-made scammers have to:

“bolster them with the simulacrum of an affluent lifestyle by posting photos of luxury cars, along with descriptions of relevant hobbies such as investing. Stressing your belief in the importance of family, one guide adds, is the sort of touch that helps foster trust.”- Propublica

Once the persona is ready, comes the time to contact their future victims.

Initiate Contact.

Although there is a theory that fraudsters can buy the details of the “most vulnerable and gullible victims” sold by other fraudsters who tricked them because they make “perfect candidates for repeat victimization”(p.6, “The Psychology of Fraud, Persuasion and Scam Techniques”, Martina Dove). And it could maybe apply in some cases. What we know for sure is that the unwilling scammers were given multiple phones and a list of numbers to contact or they had them contact people on Linkedin, OkCupid, Tinder, Instagram, WhatsApp,… One unlucky victim met his scammer because Facebook had recommended him as a friend…

There are two main tactics for the first message they use to contact them. Either they open with a simple “Hi” or they send them a message supposedly intended for other people like ”Hey Lydia, so happy to have finally met you yesterday!”.

These apparently harmless messages help not ring any alarms, but they have an hidden superpower, it’s called Commitment & Consistency.

M. Dove explains in this post, that by only asking for a simple basic answer back, not only will the scammers raise the stake in having people reply back, but they will also trigger a need to reply back to future interaction requests due to a mix of commitment and a need for consistency we could feel:

source: Martina Dove’s Linkedin

So depending on people’s personality traits and in which state of mind they find themselves in when receiving this message, some will reply and others won’t.

Learning Weaknesses.

When the future victims engage with the scammers, to again not raise suspicion, the on-and-off conversation will be pretty light, at some point they will try to engage them in more and more intimate conversation topics. Obviously to nurture the fake relationship but more importantly, so they get to know their victims and the “pain points that can be exploited”. They also do “customer mapping”: “ screening potential marks to glean information on their wealth and vulnerability to being “cut” slang for convincing them to fall for the scheme”.

They would send fake photos, videos of them,… and some scam centers even have staff on hand to provide recorded voice memos in perfectly fluent English.

The main reason they succeed in digging up people’s vulnerabilities and secrets in such a short period is that the scammers pose as empathic, sympathetic, caring and benevolent listeners. And (unfortunately yet again), humans have apparently a propensity for secret/trauma dumping on strangers:

Studies by Harvard sociologist Mario Luis Small underscore that as opposed to the common belief that we share our feelings about the most important aspects of our lives “with the few people we know best: family, lovers, close friends, our interactions often don’t fit this model at all. […] When asked who they’d most recently confided in, almost half the respondents said it wasn’t someone important to them, but a bartender, hairdresser — or maybe you, trapped in the window seat on a six-hour flight.” As Olivier Burkeman put it: “Sometimes we seek out non-intimates precisely because they’re non-intimate. For one thing, you’re not going to discuss your extramarital affair with your spouse”.

After they learn all they can about them, they will create a script that is tailor-made for their victims. They’re going to fake going through the same hurdles or hurts or traumas as them, to create an even deeper and soulful connection between them.

Now that the victim is hooked, it’s time for the slaughter to begin.

STEP 2 - Throwing the Net

When the time comes for the victim to be butchered, he is convinced his interlocutor is a wonderful, truthful, and good-natured person he is lucky to have met in his life.

In other words, he is ripe for the picking.

Laying the Trap.

To entrap their prey, scammers will often use a manipulation technique that Martina Dove calls “altercasting”. They will let their victim in on a secret: their scammer has a rich uncle/aunt that works in a top investment group or in a space he/she has access to intel and thanks to their tips the scammer is getting richer by the day.

In Propublica report, one victim recalled:

“Weeks after first contact. One Monday in late October, Jessica told Yuen she had just made $100,000 trading gold contracts. She let him in on a secret: She had a rich uncle in Hong Kong who had his own team of analysts who fed her inside quotes about where the price of gold would move.

Every time “Uncle,” as she referred to him, called with news of where the market would go, she could make a guaranteed 10% profit by trading on his directions. Jessica offered to teach Yuen — but only him. “Why just me?” he asked. Jessica said it was because she sympathized with Yuen about his dying father. “The money you earn can better help your father,” she explained. Plus, she knew she could trust him to keep her secret about insider trading.

“Of course, I won’t tell anyone,” Yuen told Jessica as he pondered whether to join in.”

So, how does “altercasting” work? Martina Dove told ProPublica “ It puts the scammer in a position of trusting the target so that the target will reciprocate trust later on. Keeping the trading secret also meant less chance that Yuen’s wife or teenage daughter would learn about his chats with Jessica.”

Now that the “secret” has been disclosed, the scammer will start posting screenshots of the huge amount of money he made following his uncle/aunt’s tips. And push slowly but surely the victim to deposit money on phony online brokerage/bogus crypto investment platforms. One tool they use to reassure their victims is that usually the first step in the investment scheme they will need to take is to use a “legit” platform like crypto exchange Coinbase or MetaTrader whose app you can find on Apple and Android phones, they are then reoriented toward the funds-draining platform.

Why is the Pig-butchering scam streamlined by cryptocurrency?

The first obvious answer is that cryptocurrency can be moved around extremely easily and it’s very efficient in laundering huge sums of cash.

The other less obvious answer that serves in the entrapment strategy is that they target people who know close to nothing about how crypto works and would not be alarmed about Red-flag APY(Annual Percentage Yield).

They then can be led like the children were led by the pied piper…to their demise. The scammers will guide them step by step on everything they need to do and the victims will follow because as one of them said ”he had very little idea of what he was doing”.

The Ponzi Scheme.

We have now a not-crypto-savvy victim who sees tangled in front of him on an almost daily basis a way to ascend to true financial stability by a generous person he trusts.

At some point, they will say yes. They agree to try it out. But for an acceptable amount of money. And on their first try (bet) it will be a smashing success. They make a huge return on the money invested, they are euphoric, and the temptation to invest more to get more is real.

But, unbeknownst to them, the victims have just fallen for a basic Ponzi Scheme that will end up in life-changing losses.

STEP 3 - The Push For More

Once a victim is hooked, depending on the experience of the “scammer” who caught him, the scammer will either continue leading the victim to his doom or handover the case (aka the phone) to a higher-up in the Pig-butchering food chain to ascertain they can exploit the victim to his full potential.

To bleed their victims dry they use in the “acceleration” phase, two main techniques:

  • Pressure: All of their conversations will be about the money the victim can make if only he/she followed the scammer counseling to the tee. They push their victims to deposit more and more significant sums. The victims get bolder and bolder, pushed by their friends with the Midas touch and reassured by the fact they have “gained” massive amounts of money every time they invested, at least that’s what the bogus crypto investment platform shows to them.

The second technique is extremely advanced, it’s called Scarcity:

  • Martina Dove explained to Propublica that the scammer will “withdraw attention unless the target is doing what the scammer wants”. Applied to this case, it means that when the victims, once hooked, wanted to talk to their friend(scammer) about anything unrelated to the “investment strategy”, the scammer would disengage from the conversation, leave messages unanswered, until the scammer either try to steer the conversation back to the money or the victim get back to it of its own.

Why is this behavior not triggering red flags in the victim?

Recently, M. Dove shared a post about scarcity that is very enlightening in understanding why this manipulation strategy works:

“Withdrawing affection or attention the victim has gotten used to in the grooming stage, will make any future attention seem more valuable, and encourage compliance.”


Under this unrelenting pressure, victims end up putting most of their savings into the scheme, and that’s when the final slaughter comes.

STEP4 - The Crisis & the Slaughter

By the time they have arrived at the fourth and final stage of the scams, victims are almost completely bled out but for scammers, it’s still not enough. There is much more that can be drained from their victims with their last, and cruelest technique.

Although we don’t exactly know what triggers the scammer in initiating the last stage, from multiple testimonies it seems that it coincides with either the victim stopping to use the platform for multiple days or sharing with their scammer that they’re running out of funds to invest or unwilling to invest more.

Either way, sensing that their victims are unlikely to deposit more funds, they initiate what we will call the “crisis stage”.

From multiple reports we could gather at least two strategies are used in the crisis stage:

  • The victim is suddenly closed out of his positions and his account balance shows him minus all the amount of money invested + false gains. When sharing his predicament with his friend, he is then blamed by his scammer for doing something wrong that triggered this situation. The victim is then told to not worry by his” friend”, he will help him recoup the loss in a matter of days if he invests a sum huge enough that he will be able to win back all the money he has lost with the gains he will make.
  • In cases when the victims have been tricked into giving their scammers total access to their legit crypto wallets like Coinbase, the victims will one day open their crypto exchange to find nothing and their money fully transferred to the fraudulent crypto investment website he is using with “his friend”. Here again, the victim is blamed for what happened to him and offered a way out. To have access back to his funds, from which he is locked out, he will be guided step by step by his “benevolent friend” on this platform the victim knows next to nothing about. A never-ending series of taxes, audits, and fees awaits him. He either has to pay them or say goodbye to his money.

In a cynical reenactment of what will really happen later down the line to them, the victims are subjected to a move aimed at heightening their stress and distress. Backed against a wall, forced to shoulder on their own a “mistake” that could cost everything to them and their families, ridden by shame and encouraged in staying silent by their “friends”, the scammers appear as a savior by offering them a lifeline to get out of this nightmare.

In their effort to recoup the loss, trying to chase the money back, the victims end up being cleared out of all of their savings, their retirement funds, remortgaging their house,… They will also, often, take out colossal personal and bank loans.

By the time the scammers are done with them and disappear, the victims are not only ruined, they have been bankrupted.

So, Who are the victims?

We hope by unfolding the intricate psychological manipulation techniques used by the scammers, you were able to understand why anyone, you and me included, could have been a victim of the Pig-butchering scam.

Victims of this scam are entrepreneurs, engineers, retirees, soldiers, accountants, lawyers,..anyone really.

But it’s true though that we were able to spot one similarity in all the testimonies we read through, at the time they met their scammers, the victims were all vulnerable. Some had their father dying in a hospital, some were battling cancer, some went through a very intense break-up,…

Scammers all preyed upon these vulnerabilities to defraud them of all they had and even of what they had not.

For the victims, it’s not only about the money they have lost.

Martina Dove who has interviewed her share of scam victims shares in her book:

“It is also about the anger, sadness, humiliation, stress, disappointment, loss of trust, lack of sleep, and loss of self-esteem, etc. It is about losing a sense of security that comes from knowing that certain societal and cultural norms forbid this type of behavior. And, as such, it is extremely harmful”

Let’s add to that the devastating betrayal they feel after finally understanding that the person they believed to be their friend did not exist.

And in worst-case scenarios, the victim has also succeeded in convincing his friend(s) and/or family member(s) to join in the scheme and is just completely crushed by guilt.

Between the victims of cyber slavery and the victims of pig-butchering scams, this scam industry is absolutely merciless and terrifying.

As we speak, victims all around the world keep and will keep on falling prey to it, so what has been done to stop this horrendous situation?

Human-trafficking Prevention Measures

To try and stop the human-trafficking, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Thailand and Vietnam have issued warnings to their population in the past months about high-salary job offers found on social media that demand to work on-site in Cambodia. Taiwan and Hong Kong went a step further and are now stationing “workers at airports to question people emigrating for work and to warn them about overseas employment scams.”

Metatrader, the app that allows scammers to have victims interact with their bogus websites while not triggering any alarms in them because the app is hosted on the Apple store and google playstore, has seen its latest versions MT4 and 5 been pulled down from the apple store , days after Propublica damning report about Metatrader lack of action in face of these scams.

The time of reckoning has also come for Coinbase, another tool like Metatrader used by the scammers to build trust to better scam their victims as aforementioned. Nearly 100 people are trying to hold Coinbase accountable, arguing that the company, by having defects in its Coinbase Wallet software that allows the victims to unknowingly grant the scammers access to their accounts and by being silent in the face of their requests for a fix of this issue is in part responsible for what happened to them. Therefore, they demand that the “rules requiring banks to reimburse debit-card users for unauthorized transfers also should apply to Coinbase’s customers.

That would be a ground-breaking legal precedent with significant repercussions for all crypto exchanges.

Cambodia Crackdowns

Under International harsh criticism, and after some denying, and foot-dragging, Cambodia has finally launched itself in trying to dismantle the Pig-butchering industry within its border in September 2022.

Multiple crackdown operations are carried out every week, freeing cyber slaves and protecting unsuspecting people from getting pig butchered.

Myanmar, the New Pig-butchering Industry Hotspot?

Apparently, Cambodia is almost already old news.

The new favorite place to launch and develop this scam industry?

Myanmar, going through the messy and violent aftermath of the 2021 military coup that has created the perfect environment for criminal syndicates to expand.

In one peculiar area specifically, a corner of conflict-torn Myanmar, controlled by a warlord and largely out of reach of government authorities, Shwe Kokko in Karen State, is currently in the run to steal the Pig-butchering capital crown from Sihanoukville.

Shwe Kokko in Karen State I source

Fugitive tycoons and gangsters fleeing crackdowns on crime in Cambodia” are converging in this area designed by a Triad leader Mr. She throughout his “real estate investments” to serve the criminal activities he engages in.

Doesn’t it feel like a déjà-vu?

This awfully looks like a repeat of the Cambodia scenario.

But even worse this time around, because it happens in a no-go zone, beyond the reach of “law enforcement, in an area controlled by a militia, formed from a breakaway faction of the rebel army that was granted autonomous authority over the territory in exchange for allegiance to the Myanmar military.”

An area some already call Southeast Asia’s newest haven for crime.

Unfortunately, all seems to indicate that the Pig-butchering industry is here to stay for quite a long time.

Report Sources I

Human Trafficking’s Newest Abuse: Forcing Victims Into Cyberscamming

END OF MISSION STATEMENT United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia

From Industrial-Scale Scam Centers, Trafficking Victims Are Being Forced to Steal Billions

The Psychology of Fraud, Persuasion and Scam Techniques

Chinese Syndicates Operate Multi-Million-Dollar Cyberfraud Rings

Cambodia’s Cyber Slaves

A Casino Kingpin Pitched a City in Myanmar — Police Say He Helped Build a Crime Haven

Myanmar’s Casino Cities: The Role of China and Transnational Criminal Networks

Inside the ‘pig-butchering’ scams seeing thousands trafficked into cyber slavery

Cyber slavery: inside Cambodia’s online scam gangs

Hundreds of Taiwanese trafficked to Cambodia and held captive by telecom scam gangs

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