Trafficking for cyber fraud an increasingly globalised crime, Interpol says
Interpol said on Friday its first operation targeting human-trafficking fueled cyber fraud showed the criminal industry was going global, spreading beyond its origins in Southeast Asia, with scam centres emerging as far away as Latin America.
The global police coordination body said law enforcement from more than 20 countries in October carried out inspections at hundreds of trafficking and smuggling hotspots, many known to be used to traffic victims to commit online fraud "on an industrial scale, while enduring abject physical abuse".
The agency said, the coordinated operation, which led to hundreds of arrests, demonstrated the "expanding geographical footprint" of the crime, with examples including Malaysians lured to Peru by promises of highly paid work and Ugandan nationals taken to Dubai then Thailand and Myanmar, where they were confined under armed guard and taught to defraud banks.
While most cases are still in Southeast Asia, Rosemary Nalubega, Assistant Director, Vulnerable Communities at Interpol, said in a statement "this modus operandi is spreading, with victims sourced from other continents and new scam centres appearing as far afield as Latin America."