A THAI woman filed a complaint with police about being tricked into working for a romance scam in the Philippines and being handcuffed and severely beaten, including use of electric shocks and waterboarding, upon asking to return home but finally being freed after paying 100,000 baht ransom but with a threat of filming and circulating a pornographic video clip if she reported their activities, Naewna newspaper said this evening (August 31).
Ms.Sa (assumed name), 26, who was brought to the Central Investigation Bureau by the founder of Saimai Must Survive webpage, said she was recruited to go work in the Philippines via Facebook on August 7 with the recruiters telling her the job involved answering customers queries about Bitcoin.
Upon arrival on August 12 she found out the job did not involve cryptocurrencies but was a romance scam. There were about 30-40 Thais working there aside from herself and 11 of her friends.
When she and her friends asked to return to Thailand they were instead locked up and chained by the Chinese employer who personally physically assaulted them with electric shocks and waterboarding also used. Some of them were beaten until they were unconscious.
They were told to pay a ransom of 100,000 baht if they wanted to be freed and eight of them were able to pay up and come out but three others remained stuck there.
She then contacted the Thai Ambassador to the Philippines and the other three too were finally freed today.
While she had come to report the scam and beatings to the Thai police, the others dared not do so because the employer had filmed pornographic clips of them which he threatend to circulate if they did so.
Tomorrow she will be going to the Justice Ministry to file an additional complaint.
Sa further revealed that she was offered 30,000 baht plus commision, free travel and food for the alleged cryptocurrency job.
The workplace is like a regular office with Thais, Chinese and Malaysians working in separate zones and supervised by their countrymen who answer to the Chinese employer. There was an armed guard in charge and they were not allowed to go out to buy necessities with the employer’s trusted staff doing so for them. Initially they were allowed to use their mobile phone but not during working hours.
Aside from blackmailing them with porno video clips they were also warned that their people would come after them if they reported anything of their activities to the police.
There remains around 40 Thais still working there but they have not been harmed because they did not ask to return home.
Sa filing a complaint against a vicious romance scam operation in the Philippines. Photos: Naewna
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