Sri Lanka Warns its Citizens Against Job Scams in Golden Triangle SEZ

The Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone.

The Honorary Consulate of Sri Lanka in Laos has advised its citizens to not fall prey to job scams in Laos after a group of Sri Lankan nationals was repatriated from the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the country.

The Sri Lankan consulate in Laos has issued a notice stating that the number of Sri Lankan nationals who accepted seemingly lucrative job offers in Southeast Asian countries like Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar, only to fall victim to human trafficking schemes has seen a gradual increase.

According to the notice, online job postings for positions such as digital sales executives, online marketing executives, digital sales and marketing executives, customer support officers, and call-center positions are being used by dubious companies to lure unsuspecting individuals into being unwilling participants in conducting cryptocurrency fraud schemes.

Many of the agents and companies involved in these schemes operate within the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Laos, and recruiters for these sham organizations are based out of the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Sri Lanka.

They usually conduct a simple interview and typing test and lure candidates into accepting these jobs by offering high salaries, free work visas, return tickets, hotel bookings, etc.

Victims are often trafficked to the border of Laos or Myanmar from Thailand and then enter the Golden Triangle SEZ on tourist visas. However, Laos does not permit employment on visa-on-arrival, and Sri Lankan nationals with this visa type are not issued work permits by authorities in Laos.

According to the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), they have received 15 complaints regarding Sri Lankan citizens who were trafficked into Laos under false pretenses in 2023.

The consulate has urged its citizens to exercise extreme caution while accepting a job offer from a potential employer in the region and do a background check if possible so as to avoid going through such an ordeal. Additionally, they can also get in touch with the Sri Lankan consulate in Laos if they are in two minds regarding taking up an employment opportunity within the country or need any other assistance.