Customer care jobs in Thailand avenue to commit cybercrimes, Government warns

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Government has warned Kenyans against the allure of customer care jobs in Thailand.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, November 16, online job scammers trick Kenyans to apply for jobs, only for them to be taken to Myanmar where they are forced to commit cybercrimes.

Those who fail to reach their target for clients are allegedly beaten and locked up for days without food.

Additionally, the government also says that Kenyans and other Africans who work in such labor camps are at risk of losing their body organs and lives as well.

“Already one young Kenyan has died as a result of a botched operation by quack doctors operating in the Chinese-run factories in Myanmar,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said. 

“Others who have been rescued have returned home in crutches and broken limbs after being severely beaten by up to 20 gang members operating in the factories.”

The Kenya Embassy in Bangkok now says it is concerned as it has issued numerous warnings previously and on online platforms but Kenyans continue to fall prey to the scammers.

“Many of the agents, wanted by the police are still advertising sales and customer care jobs purported to be in Thailand with impunity, well aware that there are no such jobs,” the Ministry added. 

Since August 2022, the Embassy in Bangkok says it has repatriated 76 victims, including 10 Ugandans and one Burundian. 

However, they note that rescue operations have been hampered by the civil strife in Myanmar between its military and organised groups of armed civilians.

“Recent army operations killed over 60 people in the area controlled by rebel groups, who provide protection to the Chinese cartels." 

At the same time, the Ministry says there are Kenyans who have opted to continue living in Myanmar to continue committing cybercrimes, after promises of good pay, presenting a serious threat to Kenya’s national security.

Last month, the Ministry through the department of Diaspora had again  warned Kenyans seeking greener pastures abroad to exercise caution.

The Ministry said it had unraveled a web of international crime targeting unsuspecting job seekers, in the pretext of offering lucrative jobs.

It emerged that rogue agents lure desperate Kenyans with the promise of better jobs in gulf countries, who then result to selling family land and other assets to secure Visas and meet the costs of travel and hotel accommodation.