Desperate times call for desperate measures as Kenyans are lured to work in Thailand. Promised a good pay of 100,000 per month not knowing the jobs are, cyber crime, organ donation and prostitution.
Two Kenyan survivors of human trafficking tell a shocking tale on what happened in Thailand. Speaking on citizen tv, (Joyce and Catherine) false names.
The two survivors say they had of a lucrative customer care job in Thailand. The job promised sh100,000 per month. They paid over 250,000 each to their agents and did a short training. After one month, they were off to Thailand.
Arriving to Thailand, the story changed, their handler took them by road to a location unknown at some point they even crossed a river.
“We took a boat and crossed over . We were told we were in Laos and we were taken by someone else,” says Catherine.
They were also told not to talk to anyone and were taken to a hostel were their passports were taken and their visas were turned into working visas.
In addition to that, they say they spend the night under very tight security. They met other Kenyans who had been their for a while.
“One day the Kenyans called us into a room and asked us if we knew what work we were supposed to do? we told them yes we have come to work as customer care services , but they said their is no such work as that, you have been brought here to engage in cybercrime,” Joyce says.
Joyce one of the survivors says, “we were given computers , it was in a big hall with Chinese nationals and Kenyans a total of 21 Kenyans.”
“We were told to search for pictures online on dating sites. And use the pictures to create fake accounts :tinder , Instagram ,Facebook,” she said.
Their jobs were to entice their clients , pose as lovers and lure them.
Joyce says,” after they fall in love with you, you can tell them about cryptocurrency , you start stealing from them. They told us to only target U.S people only.”
Furthermore, the victims told citizen, that the money was displayed in cash their offices to motivate them to keep looking for vulnerable online users to lure in.
In Kenya, under section 29 of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crime Act, the offence can result in a fine of ksh 200,000, 2 years imprisonment or both.
“We told them, we don’t want to do this work, its illegal. They told us we must pay 1.2 million so that we can buy our freedom. Then we told them we also paid and say said then you were conned. That is where we started to look for help,” says Joyce.
She adds, ” we irked them for the contract, we got it and realized its not true . When we got there we were told it is 100,000 first, then 50,000 then no pay after that, only commissions.”
She remembers a time they started fearing for their lives , around that time , a Kenyan told them what exactly happens.
“He told us if you were not productive, then you would be sold maybe into prostitution or organ donation to repay their money. So we started fearing . You can’t leave . They refuse to pay us and people refused to go to work,” she said.
For fear of their lives, they started looking for a way out.
“We started looking for help, one of us got the ambassadors number and the other HAART Kenya( Awareness Against Human Trafficking) and they started working on us and the government releases our names. HAART Kenya helped us to come back home and the tickets we bought,” she said.
On 23 of September 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed Kenyans of the return of 24 Kenyans of the return of Kenyan from trafficker’s in Laos.
The ministry warns, there could be hundreds of young Kenyans working in ‘ fraud factories’ in South East Asia.
In addition to that, official sources indicate that some of the factories maybe facilities for extracting and restoring organs. The foreign ministry warned that once ‘work commences’ those who fail to meet the target required, they are tutored or left in a dark room alone for days to starve.
Furthermore, one rescued Kenyan reveals, she was locked up for three days without food. There are no sales and customer care jobs in Thailand or other countries in Asia.
As much as the money promised by the country one wants to work , before paying the agents ensure you look into what you’re going to do, how the country is and the agents been given the money. The jobs might sound promising on paper or the websites, but ensure you don’t find yourself in a bad situation.