Chinese consulate in Mandalay highlights risks of false advertisements for high-paying jobs in Myanmar
Published: Apr 10, 2023 09:48 PM
People visit the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, June 6, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

People visit the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, June 6, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

On Monday, the Chinese Consulate-General in Mandalay, Myanmar, issued a notice cautioning Chinese nationals about "high salary, low threshold" overseas recruitment advertisements, warning them to avoid being lured into criminal schemes, after such cases were repeatedly reported in the past few months.

Recently, there have been many cases of Chinese nationals and even school students being tempted by false online information such as high salaries to enter Myanmar illegally and face serious risk of personal and property loss, said the consulate's notice.

Chinese nationals who intend to go to northern Myanmar must remain careful and vigilant, the consulate said, reminding the Chinese visitors to follow the proper legal procedures and strictly comply with local laws and regulations.

"In the event of an emergency, please report to the police and contact our embassy for assistance," said the notice.

The notice came shortly after a Chinese national who fell victim to this type of scam was rescued. Online gambling and telecommunications fraud have caused a series of social problems in Myanmar in recent years, according to media reports, along with other crimes including murder, kidnapping, human trafficking, and illegal immigration. In order to attract labor, criminal groups often lure people from neighboring countries to Myanmar with a promise of high salaries, media reports said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Chinese embassy in Myanmar said that it had rescued a Chinese national who had been smuggled into Myanmar and forced to engage in telecom fraud.

According to the embassy, the person was lured by a criminal organization and smuggled into Tachilek city in Shan State to engage in the criminal activity of telecom fraud, and was then beaten, detained and had his life threatened.

The embassy also reminded Chinese citizens to be wary of the "high salary, low threshold" overseas recruitment advertisements and to avoid being ensnared in criminal schemes, including "telecom fraud and internet gambling."

Recently, Chinese border checkpoints have also been seeing victims of false advertisements fleeing back from Myanmar, the Global Times has learned from the China-Myanmar border checkpoint in Ruili, Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

On the evening of March 31, as the Ruili border checkpoint was preparing to close its gates, a 20-year-old Chinese man surnamed Liu suddenly came running to the checkpoint asking for help. He claimed that he had believed Internet rumors and had been smuggled to Myanmar in 2022. He was then tricked into engaging in telecom fraud and subjected to abusive behavior such as beatings and detention, and was later able to escape because the walls of his stronghold collapsed, a border checkpoint staffer told the Global Times. Liu returned to China and his family repeatedly thanked the police officers.

An 18-year-old surnamed Yang also experienced a similar incident. He was tricked into smuggling himself into Myanmar in December 2020, was then forced to work in the telecom fraud business and was often beaten for failing to meet targets. Over two years, Yang sustained more than 20 injuries all over his body and a ruptured eardrum in his left ear.

In February 2023, after saving enough money and buying out his contract, Yang returned to Chinese customs and turned himself in to police.

These cases are currently being processed, the staffer at the Ruili border checkpoint told the Global Times.

On March 20, a trilateral meeting attended by China's Ministry of Public Security and their counterparts in Myanmar and Thailand was held in Bangkok, Thailand to combat transnational crimes such as human trafficking and telecom fraud.

China hopes Myanmar will attach increased importance to the seriousness and harm of online fraud and gambling activities, further strengthen coordination and cooperation with China, step up efforts to crack down on the relevant illegal activities and create a clean environment for China-Myanmar friendly cooperation, said the embassy.

Similar cases were also reported in other Asian countries including Sri Lanka and Thailand. A recent media release by the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka said it had rescued 13 Chinese nationals who had been trafficked to the country, cut off from contacts with their families and the outside world, and forced to engage in illegal activities such as telecom scams and internet gambling.

The cases are a warning for Chinese nationals to be wary of recruitment traps overseas, said the Chinese embassy in Sri Lanka.

The Chinese embassy in Thailand said earlier that it has noticed social media reports of so-called security risks in Thailand tourism and clarifications made by the Thai authorities, while vowing to protect Chinese nationals in Thailand.