The Chinese casino city of Shwe Kokko is under construction in Myawaddy Township, Karen State in 2019. / The Irrawaddy

By The Irrawaddy 22 September 2022

Over 300 Indians have been forced to work for cybercriminal operations after being trafficked to Myawaddy in Karen State, according to a report in the Times of India (TOI).

After being lured with false promises of legitimate jobs, and then taken captive by trafficking gangs, victims are forced to work for cyber-scam operations for more than 15 hours a day, the news outlet reported, citing an SOS video sent by one of the Indian victims.

Myawaddy, on the Thai border, is under the control of the Myanmar military and its affiliated Karen State Border Guard Force (BGF).

The area has become a people-trafficking hub after Chinese businessmen flocked there to set up gambling ventures including casinos, along with cybercrime activities, at a US$15-billion “new city” project opened in Shwe Kokko near Myawaddy in 2017. The project is a joint venture between the BGF and a Hong Kong-registered company, Yatai International Holding Group (IHG).

Since then, many Myanmar people along with citizens of…

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