11 Indians Rescued From Job Scams in Laos’ Special Economic Zone

Photo Credit: Free Malaysia Today. Photo used for representational purposes only.

The Indian Embassy in Laos rescued 11 Indian citizens from the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the country where they faced exploitation and were held against their will.  

The Indian Embassy expressed its gratitude to the Laos government for aiding in the rescue efforts of 11 people who were threatened and held captive for over a month. They were repatriated back to India over the weekend via Bangkok.

A team from the Consulate General of India in Chiang Mai was present on the Thai side of the border to provide consular assistance to the rescued Indian Nationals, pay their visa fee, and arrange transport to facilitate their onward journey from the Laos-Thailand border to the nearest airport Chiang Rai.

Just in September, the Government of India rescued 130 job seekers from Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia after they were tricked by scammers who promised them fake professional opportunities in Thailand’s IT sector. In October, 44 people from Pakistan were rescued from job scams in Laos as well.

The Ministry of External Affairs in India said that they have been closely following the case of Indians ensnared in fake job scams in and have been assisted by Indian embassies in Vientiane, Phnom Penh and Bangkok in the past for arranging repatriation for citizens.

The Indian government also issued an advisory in September, noting that Indian missions in Thailand and Myanmar had learned of fake job schemes that were on the rise on social media. These offered lucrative payoffs to lure young Indian professionals for “Digital Sales and Marketing Executives” positions in Thailand under dubious IT companies engaged in call-center fraud and cryptocurrency fraud.

Such ads usually targeted youths with IT skills who are tricked into believing they received a well-paying job in Thailand through social media advertisements or via recruiting agents based out of Dubai or India.

The advisory informed, “The victims are reportedly taken across the border illegally mostly into Myanmar and held captive to work under harsh conditions.”

The government of India has advised its residents to check credentials of potential employers before accepting a job offer or travelling on a tourist visa for employment purposes.