News - Police in Philippines crack down on crypto scams and human trafficking

By Ted Maas

Police in Philippines crack down on crypto scams and human trafficking

As the local Philippine newspaper Philstar reports, local police succeeded on May 4 in striking a major blow against a criminal organization engaged in human trafficking and crypto scams. Twelve suspects were arrested in the process.

The gang is accused of holding more than 1,000 people against their will and forcing them to work for crypto scams. Police have since released the victims. They are all people from the Asiatic region. They include 389 Vietnamese, 307 Chinese and more than 200 people from Indonesia and the Philippines.

The smugglers had lured them to the country through posts on social media with lucrative job offers. The criminals then confiscated their victims' passports and forced them to work 18 hours a day under inhumane conditions. The victims were mainly to entice crypto users from the U.S., Canada and Europe to deposit money or cryptocurrencies into fake accounts, wallets and projects.

The cooperation of several Philippine and Asian authorities eventually led to a coordinated operation against the criminals. They will now be arraigned before a court in Manila. Here they will be charged with human trafficking.

Contrary to popular belief, criminal activity today accounts for only a small fraction of all crypto transactions. Yet the number of criminal transactions increased again in 2022 for the first time since 2019, it was revealed from a recent report by Chainalysis.

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