Over 5,000 Indians Trapped in Cambodia, Forced to Carry Out Cyber Frauds

Government of India has estimated that over 5,000 Indians are trapped in Cambodia, allegedly being held against their will, and forced to carry out cyber frauds targeting people back home.

The fraudsters have allegedly duped people in India of at least Rs 500 crore over the past six months. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has held a meeting with various government agencies and security experts to devise a strategy to rescue the trapped Indians.

The Cambodian Cyber Fraud Racket

Investigations by Central agencies have revealed that agents are trapping people, mostly from southern India, and sending them to Cambodia on the pretext of data entry jobs.

Once in Cambodia, they are forced to scam people in India and, in some cases, extort money by pretending to be law enforcement officials.

The matter came to light after the Rourkela Police in Odisha busted a cyber-crime syndicate on December 30 last year, arresting eight people involved in taking people to Cambodia.

Rescue Efforts and Victims’ Accounts

So far, three people from Bengaluru who were trapped in Cambodia have been brought back to India with the help of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the Non-Resident Indian Forum of the Government of Karnataka (NRIFK).

Modus Operandi of the Scamsters

The Rourkela Police have shed light on the modus operandi of the scamsters. Initially, the men were made to join a “scamming company” in Phnom Penh, where they were forced to pose as women on dating apps and convince their targets to invest in cryptocurrency trading.

Later, they were moved to another company that focused on investment scams, luring people to invest in fake stocks through a fake online app. The scamsters’ passports were confiscated, and they were subjected to torture, including physical assaults, electric shocks, and solitary confinement, if they refused to carry out the scams.

Ongoing Investigations and Interpol Involvement

The Rourkela Police have gathered critical information regarding the location of the fraud companies, their operatives, working style, and management hierarchy.

They have identified three key high-level operatives of Indian origin and one of Nepalese origin. The police intend to seek the help of Interpol to arrest the key players in this scam.


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