More than 18 months after a massive expose in the international media, Ukraine’s dubious call centres – including one located in the heart of Kyiv – continue to operate with impunity.
Many people would say that central Kyiv is the worst part of Ukraine’s capital city.
Downtown, across the street from the historical Bessarabian Market, lies the Mandarin Plaza commercial centre, which encapsulates why many feel this way.
At one end, it is filled with high-end luxury fashion boutiques, catering to Ukraine’s upper crust. At the other end is Arena City, a courtyard full of bars, a few chain restaurants, at least two strip clubs, a brothel, and – somewhat surprisingly – offices.
At various times of day, the courtyard becomes full of workers from these offices – primarily young people from all over the world, from places as far away as Ecuador and Pakistan.
They work for what is probably the biggest scam call centre in Ukraine.
All of this was revealed in March of last year when a massive operation by 20 media outlets including the Times of Israel, Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter and the NGO OCCRP exposed the rampant fraud occurring almost openly in the heart of a European capital.
The company involved was identified as Milton Group. A whistleblower working for them approached the Swedish media after being horrified by the kind of work they did – Dagens Nyheter equipped him with a hidden camera to record what goes on.
Others are also now…