More Kenyans Trapped in Myanmar Rescued

Written by on September 7, 2022

Kenya has rescued more citizens trapped in Myanmar after falling victim to an unscrupulous ‘job’ cartel with links in Nairobi.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said seven Kenyans were rescued from Myanmar over the weekend and taken to Thailand ahead of their repatriation home.

Four others, meanwhile, were still held at the Chinese factories where they had been smuggled upon arrival in Thailand.

According to first-hand accounts of the victims, the work Kenyans are subjected to in the Southeast Asian country’s factories is equivalent to slavery.

“They locked us up in a room for seven hours without communication and food after which they asked us if we wanted to die or continue with work and we of course chose to live,” Rose Mwikali, one of the victims who has since been repatriated to Kenya, told Nation.

She said those who couldn’t work at the cyber cafes were subjected to prostitution as they were perceived as “useless” to the factory managers.

Last week, the government said it rescued citizens stuck in Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, after receiving distress calls.

About two weeks ago, Kenya warned Kenyans against applying for jobs in Asian countries unless they can confirm their authenticity before leaving.

The government said it is “overwhelmed” by distress calls of nationals duped into non-existent jobs in the South East Asian region in what it suspected was a human trafficking syndicate.

Kenya does not have diplomatic representation in Myanmar.

According to the Kenyan Embassy in Thailand, most of those tricked are Kenyans from low-income families who had to sell their limited resources, including land, to foot the travel costs.

The victims are duped with fake promises of teaching, sales and customer care jobs, only to be sold into slavery in Myanmar and the neighbouring Laos to work in ‘factories‘ that indulge in cybercrimes, brothels and drug trafficking activities.

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