Interpol has warned of a ‘global trafficking crisis’, highlighting cases in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, as well as four other unidentified Asian countries.

According to a media statement from the global policing group, “initial human trafficking victims were Chinese-speaking, drawn from China, Malaysia, Thailand or Singapore”. The modus operandi has since changed, however, with victims being trafficked as far as “South America, East Africa and Western Europe,” notes the body.

The trafficked victims are typically forced to engage in online gambling, crypto investment scams, investment fraud and other types of schemes.

The issue has been at the forefront of the Philippines’ Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) debate, following the recent discovery of over 1,000 alleged human trafficking victims at a PAGCOR-licensed site.

The site itself, as well as the entire Sun Valley Clark hub has been entirely shuttered, with PAGCOR cancelling the license of the operator and pledging increased oversight of all POGO operations.