India to Crack Down on Cambodia Cyber Work Scam, 250 Nationals Rescued So Far: MEA – News18

Curated By: Rohit
Last Updated: March 31, 2024, 08:11 IST
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
More than 5,000 Indians are allegedly being held against their will in Cambodia. (Representation Image/Shutterstock)
India has rescued and repatriated about 250 Indians caught up in the Cambodia cyber work scam, of which 75 have been in just the last three months, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Saturday, assuring the country’s commitment to crack down on fraudulent schemes and help Indian nationals who are stranded there.
MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal made these remarks in response to media inquiries regarding Indian nationals stranded in Cambodia. More than 5,000 Indians are allegedly being held against their will in the Southeast Asian country and being forced to carry out cyber frauds on people back home. Government estimates that the fraudsters have allegedly duped people in India of at least Rs 500 crore over the last six months
Our response to media queries regarding Indians stuck in Cambodia:— Randhir Jaiswal (@MEAIndia) March 30, 2024
Jaiswal said that the Indian Embassy in Cambodia has been actively addressing complaints from individuals who were deceived with promises of job opportunities but were coerced into illegal cyber work. Collaborating closely with Cambodian authorities, the Indian mission in the country has successfully rescued and repatriated some 250 Indian nationals, with 75 individuals returned home in the past three months alone.
The MEA has issued multiple advisories to Indian citizens cautioning them about such fraudulent schemes. “We remain committed to helping all those Indian nationals in Cambodia who seek our support. We are also working with Cambodian authorities and with agencies in India to crack down on those responsible for these fraudulent schemes,” MEA spokesperson Jaiswal said.
Several reports said Indian nationals in Cambodia were reportedly held captive and coerced into cyber fraud activities. Individuals were coerced into scamming people in India and, at times, extorting money by impersonating law enforcement officials and claiming to have discovered suspicious items in parcels. Earlier, the Ministry of Home Affairs convened a meeting with officials from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre, and security experts to devise a rescue strategy. Centre aims to free the trapped Indians and combat fraudulent schemes.
Second Secretary (Consular and Diaspora) Avaran Abraham said that they are getting four to five complaints on average almost regularly from different parts of Cambodia. “The moment we get a request we inform the police. We also guide them on how to travel to the embassy, and since they are in trauma we even counsel them,” he told The Indian Express newspaper. “The problem which should be highlighted is that when these people are being rescued and getting back to India, invariably, they are not filing an FIR with the police. It is only when FIRs are filed, the Indian police will be able to get to these agents/companies,” he said.


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