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  • Writer's pictureRichard Dalaygon

2,700 cyber slaves saved from cybercrime syndicates in the Philippines

Just this past week, a raid was staged by Philippine police and commandos on a major cybercrime syndicate. According to a report by The Associated Press, this nighttime raid, the largest one of its kind this year, resulted in the rescue of over 2,700 workers from China, India, The Philippines, and Vietnam and other countries who have been forced into working for fraudulent online gaming sites and other cybercrime groups.

This is just the latest development in a rising trend of cybercrime scams in the ASEAN region involving workers being lured by the promise of good pay and good working conditions on Facebook ads and subsequently being forced into virtual slavery, taking part in scams and all manner of cybercrime.

According to the Head of the anti-cybercrime unit at the PNP, Brig. Gen. Sydney Hernia, the raid hit buildings all over Las Pinas and freed 1,534 Filipinos and 1,190 foreigners from at least 17 countries, including 604 Chinese, 183 Vietnamese, 137 Indonesians, 134 Malaysians and 81 Thais. There were also a few people from Myanmar, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Nigeria and Taiwan.

As recent as last May, Police raided another cybercrime stronghold at the Clark Freeport in Mabalacat City, Pampanga and similarly rescued about 1,400 Filipino and foreign workers who were allegedly forced to carry out cryptocurrency scams.

These raids and arrests fuel emerging concerns that the Philippines has become a center for cybercrime syndicates of this kind.

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