Nathan Paul Southern (@NathanPSouthern) and Lindsey Kennedy (@LindsAKennedy) are investigative journalists working to bring awareness to the growing issue of cyber-slavery in Southeast Asia facilitated by Chinese triads with links to local government and law enforcement agencies.
What We Discuss with Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy:
- Aided by corrupt government and law enforcement agencies, organized criminals hold thousands of people in modern-day slavery in Southeast Asia, forcing them to run cyber-scams worldwide.
- Victims are lured by promises of lucrative online trading jobs, and abducted against their will when they arrive — for a minimum of six months — to work as cyber-slaves.
- These captives are beaten, electrocuted, and tortured if they try to escape or don’t make enough money. Suicides, with victims jumping from balconies to their death, have become commonplace.
- The Cambodian Prime Minister’s nephew has been implicated in the human trafficking trade, which is why embassies have been ignored when they plead for intervention.
- What those of us in the Western world can do to fight back against these organized crime groups and ensure their dirty deeds can no longer be done dirt cheap enough to turn a profit.
- And much more…
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What exactly is cyber-slavery? When gambling was banned in Cambodia during the early days of the pandemic, local operators quickly repurposed for online criminal activity — which rapidly spread across Southeast Asia to other gambling hubs. To remotely run their shady cyber-scams, organized criminals have enslaved thousands of people across Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. After being lured to a physical location with bogus job offers, victims are held against their will, beaten, and tortured if they don’t make enough money — or try to escape. Suicides are common. Chinese organized crime groups run these operations while local authorities turn a blind eye or even arrest victims who try to speak out.
On this episode, we’re joined by investigative journalists Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy to understand how cyber-slavery proliferated during the pandemic, in what ways it’s evolving to target higher-value marks in English-speaking countries, why legitimate authorities are powerless to put an end to it, how corrupt government and law enforcement agencies are complicit in its perpetuation, and what we in the West can do to fight back. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Miss our conversation with former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard? Catch up with episode 369: Tim Ballard | Putting a Stop to Child Sex Trafficking here!
Thanks, Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy!
If you enjoyed this session with Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy, let them know by clicking on the links below and sending them a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Scam Victims Help | Global Anti-Scam Org
- Latest Scam Websites | Global Anti-Scam Org
- Nathan Paul Southern | Twitter
- Lindsey Kennedy | Twitter
- Lindsey Kennedy | Website
- Winston Sterzel | Don’t Lose Your Bacon in a Pig-Butchering Scam | Jordan Harbinger
- Inside Southeast Asia’s Casino Scam Archipelago by Lindsey Kennedy and Nathan Paul Southern | The Diplomat
- The Online Scammer Targeting You Could Be Trapped in a South-East Asian Fraud Factory by Lindsey Kennedy and Nathan Paul Southern | The Sydney Morning Herald
- Hundreds of Taiwanese Trafficked to Cambodia and Held Captive by Telecom Scam Gangs | The Guardian
- ‘I Was a Slave’: Up to 100,000 Held Captive by Chinese Cybercriminals in Cambodia | Los Angeles Times
- Reassessing Cambodia’s Patronage System(s) and the End of Competitive Authoritarianism: Electoral Clientelism in the Shadow of Coercion | Pacific Affairs
- Cambodia’s Illegal Logging Structures | Global Initiative
- China’s Massive Belt and Road Initiative | Council on Foreign Relations
- Special Economic Zone (SEZ) | Investopedia
- Crime Booms as Mafias Upgrade Tech for Pandemic Era by Lindsey Kennedy and Nathan Paul Southern | Foreign Policy
- Asian Roulette: Criminogenic Casinos and Illicit Trade in Environmental Commodities in South East Asia | Global Initiative
- Golden Triangle Gambling Zone the World’s ‘Worst’ SEZ, Group Says | The Diplomat
- Cambodia’s Nightlife Scene Tests COVID Success by Lindsey Kennedy and Nathan Paul Southern | Al Jazeera
- Rachel Nuwer | Inside the Dark World of Wildlife Trafficking | Jordan Harbinger
833: Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy | Sourcing Cyber-Slavery
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:03] Nathan Paul Southern: You cannot have tens and tens of thousands of slaves in enormous slavery scam compounds just on the country's bordering China right next door. You cannot have that without some form of permission from the Chinese state. There's a strong relationship there, but it does change and it's complicated to understand, and there are Chinese police trying to stop in Chinese government, but there are times with the government to these organized crime groups that are incredibly strong.
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[00:01:33] Today on the show, no kids in the car for this one got some very graphic and disturbing stories of human trafficking, suicide, violence. This is a heavy-duty one. I'm not going to lie, guys. The growing issue here is of essentially cyber slavery in Southeast Asia, being run by Chinese triads with links to government and police in the region. Wait, what? Yes, so this is about the pig-butchering scam. If you remember, we did a show about that a while ago. Those texts you get where people are talking to you, they try to be your friend, and then they...cryptocurrency scam. Well, it turns out that the people running the scam are actually victims many times themselves. Thousands of people, possibly. Hundreds of thousands of people are currently being held across Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and other countries in a modern-day slavery situation. They're being forced to operate sophisticated cyber scams throughout the world, and these scams take place essentially in closed casinos, casinos that closed due to the pandemic.
[00:02:29] Gambling operators quickly repurposed these for online criminal activities. So these folks throughout Asia and beyond, they're offered lucrative online trading jobs or service jobs, and then when they arrive, they're held against their will for upwards of six months, sometimes years at a time. Captives are beaten, electrically shocked, tortured if they try to escape or if they don't make enough money. People have killed themselves in these situations. Victims have jumped from balconies or out of windows to their own death. It's not that uncommon. These operations are run by Chinese organized crime groups known as triads many a time. Local police and governments, they turn a blind eye. There's essentially a high-rise building that looks like an apartment block, but it's got a fence around it. You can't get out. It's really, really insane. Sometimes they arrest people who try to speak out, who escape. They treat them as people who overstayed their visa. The scams initially targeted Chinese speakers, both in Mainland China and elsewhere. Now, they increasingly recruit English speakers to target higher-value marks in the United States, India, Europe, Australia, the UK.
[00:03:28] My guest today, Nathan and Lindsey, good friends of mine actually, they've been to the centers. They've spoken to the victims. They've been threatened by the guards and the security. This isn't just an organized crime trend, but it's an enormous humanitarian disaster that pretty much nobody outside the Southeast Asia region really seems interested in. They've been writing investigative journalism all over, but I wanted to help them spread this message to as many people as possible, and that's what we're going to chat about today. Really, really a wild tale. Come and get a load of what the scam textures are really living like behind barbed wire walls. And you'll look at these scams in a completely different way.
[00:04:03] Here we go with Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy.
[00:04:09] When I first heard of the pig-butchering scam, which essentially, it's like a scam call, somebody bilks you out of money. I mean, I really thought scam calls and fraud that bilk people out of their life savings were bad, but I had no idea that it just gets so much worse. And I did an episode on the pig-butchering scam. It's episode 737. To refresh people's memory, that was, it's like these, you'll get a text from somebody and they're like, "Oh, hi Tom, can I come get my dog?" And you're like, "Oh, wrong number. Then they try to make friends with you and...Cryptocurrency investment scam or a romance scam. And I wanted to teach my audience how to fight back against this. And the more I researched this after the show, the more I found that actually all parties on both sides essentially are victims. So can you speak to this a little bit, because I didn't realize it just got so much worse than stealing someone's life savings? Like, you're just scratching the surface there.
[00:05:06] Nathan Paul Southern: Yeah. So I'm like picturing this and it has been going on for a long time, right? And it's just a really, really horrible type of scam where you just like build up that relationship usually through that romance angle, like you said, get really, really close and then you start bringing in something like crypto. Or it could be something like investing in gold, but you know, you've built up this close relationship, people get close and then all the life savings go in and you never get that cash back again. That's nothing new. That's just a development of scams you would expect to see, right? Especially if like group in the Internet and how easy it's to contact people on social media.
[00:05:38] But what changed around about the time of COVID was the forced aspect of it. The people who were forced to do the scams themselves. So you had in Cambodia for instance, you had an enormous amount of unused real estate used by Chinese gangsters normally for casinos or online betting venues, which were just sitting there empty. So that kind of led to this natural progression of, "Oh wait a minute, we could really maximize our profits if we just force people into this work." Force them to get in touch with people all around the world and do this pig butchering, but they're also not getting paid. So then you have this massive modern slavery aspect to it, but you can just keep trying out a bigger and bigger workforce and not worry about having to get a decent pay or conditions for these people as well.
[00:06:23] Lindsey Kennedy: I think a lot of people that have been scammed quite rightly think, what kind of person could have done this to me? Like how could someone do that when I've pulled my heart then where I've told them I've got like a terminal illness or all these awful stories that you hear? That's the thing, it is very hard to find people who will do that willingly. So increasingly, people are forced into it under threat of beatings or torture or being sold to other companies. That might be even worse. And that's kind of something to bear in mind is that someone doing that to you won't let go of that attempt to get money out of you because their life was also on the line at the other end.
[00:06:54] Jordan Harbinger: Initially, I was so surprised that there were enough sociopaths that you could recruit that would do this. Like that was one of the questions I had is I just thought, gosh, there's so many more evil people out there than I thought because I get these by the dozen and so does everybody that you know all over essentially the whole world. There must be tens of millions of psychopathic people doing this as a job. And that was disturbing. But now, with what you're telling me, and we're going to unpack all this, so for people who are confused, we're going to get, we're going to just sort of start from square one on each one of these categories because we heard Chinese gangsters, casinos, special economics. I mean it's just, there's a whole lot going on. These people, one of the reasons they get good at it, and they're so aggressive and they pursue it and they have so much time, is because they are literally going to die in captivity, or at least be beaten and tortured if they don't do this to somebody that they don't know.
[00:07:47] So it's like being in, I hate using this analogy because it's really horrible, but it's almost like when you hear about concentration camps and you think, "How could people do this to each other? They were prisoners too." Well, exactly. They were prisoners too. And it's like, are you going to steal food from somebody else who's starving to death? Yeah, because you're starving to death. You are too. And your choice is to either get shot in the next morning's roundup or collaborate. I mean, that's really, those are your choices. And these people are in a very similar kind of situation, even if it's not wartime here. So this is the other side of the scam. It's even more horrifying than the scam itself, but by a wide margin. So first of all, how are these people lured into where is it? Cambodia and Lao and Vietnam in the first place? I mean, how do you find yourself in a place where you can't get away?
[00:08:35] Lindsey Kennedy: There's a few different ways this can happen, right? But there are some people that do kind of broadly know what kind of work they're getting themselves into. They might not quite realize quite how bad it is, but they have an inkling. But a lot of people, they see a job for it might be a job in sort of admin or in customer services or to basically anything that's computer-based. They're basically told, "As long as you can use a computer and you can talk to people and you know how to use a bit of social media, you'll have got a job basically with us." And then, when they say, "Well, why is the money so high? It seems like it's so much higher than it would normally be in Cambodia or Laos or Myanmar." They're told, "Oh, well, it's in a casino complex, or it's in a Special Economic Zone. And these places have their own kinds of rules, so don't worry about that. There's lots of really well-paid people." Current victims are encouraged to recruit from their own network of friends like under duress and tell them they've got this great job. And you know, don't worry about all these reports. You hear about scams and things. This isn't one of them.
[00:09:23] So there are lots of different ways people are tricked. We actually spoke to, really recently, we were coming back from the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone in Laos, which is also called Kings Romans, which is basically this bizarre place that's a kind of lawless zone of its own. That's built around a casino or a couple of casinos owned by this Chinese gangster called Zhao Wei. As we were leaving, we went in — because you can go in kind of as a tourist and leave back into Thailand, which is across the border, as we were leaving, we met a couple of people who'd just been released for various reasons. It'd finally been released after three or four months of being told they couldn't leave and they were just so desperate to get out of there and we kind of helped them get across the river and get to safety in the next town over.
[00:10:02] Well, one of the women told us that she had been told that she had a job in Thailand. There's very little evidence that there's any scam compounds in Thailand, and Thailand was generally seen as a safe place to go for work. So she was like, "Okay, that's great." She was told me if she'd been told it was in Cambodia or Laos, no way would she have gone. But when she landed in Bangkok, she was immediately taken to the north of the country to Chiang Mai, and then to Chiang Rai, which is right on the border across the river from Laos. And then they were told, "Oh, your job is actually just in that building over there, like across the river." And then, they're taken in into Laos that way. So by the time, all this is happening, you're so confused about where you're going and what country you're in and why you're crossing the border into another country and you've already spent, you know, all your money getting there or taken out loans or allowed them to pay for your flight. So you're already in debt, these people that it's very frightening. So all of this can just happen and get out of hand very, very quickly, I think.
[00:10:47] Jordan Harbinger: I took from one of your articles, I'm just going to quote it verbatim here. It's a trafficking account, and you wrote, one of you wrote, "It quickly became clear that this was not a normal employer. The agency or gangsters have people working every step of the way. Every checkpoint, they pay a bribe. She explained via an interpreter, they gave me a fake Burmese identity card and I had to pretend I couldn't speak. Once in Hmong Lao," which is another sort of casino area, I guess.
[00:11:13] Nathan Paul Southern: Mafia enclave in Myanmar, yeah.
[00:11:15] Jordan Harbinger: Mafia enclave. Wow. That's a, okay, we're going to unpack that in a second. "Her excitement at the big city lights evaporated when she discovered the agent had fled with her first month's paycheck and she was not allowed to leave the club, which doubled as her accommodation unless accompanied by an armed guard. They were afraid we would run away. She says the PR girls," because I guess they said you're going to be working in PR, like social media marketing or something. "The PR girls were mostly Thai says Apple," which is her very sort of on-the-nose nickname. "But almost all the sex workers were local girls from the Tai Yai ethnic minority, most of them children as young as 13, who had been sold by their parents and were forced to sleep with Chinese, Burmese, and ethnic Wa men who visited the club looking specifically for little girls, some of whom were so mentally damaged by the ordeal that they would cut themselves. To keep them skinny for the weekly bikini show, the women and girls were only allowed to eat twice a day, but a cabinet of methamphetamine, cocaine, and ketamine were provided free of charge. The drugs stopped us getting hungry, she says." I mean, barf is the only reaction any reasonable person can have to this kind of thing.
[00:12:22] And I know people were like, "Wait a minute. I thought we were talking about scams. What is going on? Sex trafficking?" That escalated way too quickly for me. This is kind of where there's smoke, there's fire kind of thing, right? Where you have scam call centers that are already breaking a law and you have illegal gambling or legal in these zones, gambling. It's kind of like why not have wildlife trafficking, illegal locking, sex trafficking of minors? These places where this is going on are seemingly totally lawless. Can we talk about why these places aren't having the fear of God put into them by the governments in the area?
[00:12:57] Nathan Paul Southern: So a few things. So, first of all, you know, sex trafficking, I think that's something that more people have heard of, right? The idea that—
[00:13:03] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:13:04] Nathan Paul Southern: —you get lured into a job and you think you're going to be a waitress and it could be where you're from, Eastern Europe or you're from Thailand and you end up as a forced sex worker, right? That is something that, that's quite known now. Basically, that laid the foundation for what we're looking at now, where they use the same tactics to recruit people, but in so many of these villages and say Vietnam where they have historically got these sex workers from, people are starting to get wise to that after decades of education saying, "Hey, listen, these jobs as waitresses, you're probably going to end up in four sex work," right? So they're like, "Oh, no, no, I know what to look out for with that." And now, it's changed. And now, it's changed and it's grown to this just terrifying scale where these organized crime groups dotted mostly around Southeast Asia, but other places that me and Lindsey have documented as well, which we can go into, have found ways that you can just be completely above the law.
[00:13:54] So this all really, really kicked off in Cambodia and Cambodia is in a way, a safe and stable country for a lot of people. You know, people go backpacking and have nice holidays there, and the worst thing will probably happen to you is having your phone stolen out of your hand in a tuk-tuk, right? And it's safe. So people don't expect it to be like organized crime-run hellhole. But in the same time, it really, really is. And there's so much to that. And a lot of it is basically from this kind of post-war country that thought the Khmer Rouge and in the Vietnamese for decades. And one of the ways that they tried to maintain stability when Hun Sen who's longest-serving Prime Minister in the world took over in the, in the 1990s, was he created something called the patronage system in the country, which essentially means that any government worker at all has to pay a certain percentage of their income to the next in the chain of command.
[00:14:50] So that goes from teachers to soldiers to police officers. So police officers that we speak to say they get paid $116 a month. They'll be expected to pay half of that to their sergeant, and their sergeant needs to pay half of their salary to the next person up. So yeah, you can try to take on a few extra shifts, and if you work in the traffic department, then obviously, you'll pull a few more motorbikes or cars over for some bribes. But if you are really, if you're really, really struggling to make rent and pay your boss, then what you're going to do is you're going to let the trucks full of luxury timber go through. You're going to let the trucks full of meth and heroin go through, or you're going to start getting involved more directly in things. And that's why we know police and military that are directly involved in selling weapons and so on. This is a natural progression of that where you're able to have huge compounds where the landlords are paid off and that money trickles down rather than it being an act of corruption from some bad apples they say, it's an inherently corrupted criminal system.
[00:15:53] At The same time as that it is similar kind of networks operate in different places, Myanmar's different cause. It's in a full-scale conflict, so you can get away with even more there. But one thing that we've looked a lot at is how the Chinese have their Belt and Road Initiative, right? It's a massive infrastructure project where they're spending billions and billions of dollars around the world to build railways, bridges, roads, and huge, huge development. I mean, a lot of that means that minerals in Africa or Latin American, Asia are just put on a train and sent straight to Beijing. But there's a lot of money coming into these different countries. But at the same time, a lot of organized crime groups have piggybacked off that, especially in Southeast Asia and have made themselves sound like a legitimate organization that you can trust. And they get in there through places like Special Economic Zones where the Chinese government organizers, you need to deal with the host government where you don't pay tax, you don't have too much oversight. So these criminal groups can come in and just set up enormous compounds where thousands and thousands of people can be held against our will and barbed wire and you can see it from the road and no one stops it because the entire system has been criminalized and in essence what a true mafia state is.
[00:17:05] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, so the Special Economic Zones, I want to sort of highlight this because I think people are still like, but wait, why doesn't the government of Thailand go in and get their people or Vietnam? Or is it just because of corruption? The Special Economic Zones, they're kind of like these self-governing statelets, they're conduits for human trafficking and all this other illegal activity for the reasons that you mentioned. But they're deliberately in many times between the border, so like you leave, let's say Laos to go to Thailand and there's, I don't know, 400 yards or meters or whatever, and in that, or 1,400, what do I know? And in that little space, there's a couple of buildings and they just happen to be casinos and they're not governed by the law of those countries because they're not actually in those countries. Am I close?
[00:17:53] Lindsey Kennedy: Yeah. It varies from country to country and yeah, how corrupt the government of that country is, right? The worst one is the one we were talking about that's in Laos that is run by a Chinese gangster, and he has leased that land for 99 years. Now, in most places, or most places in Southeast Asia, there's a little bit of uncertainty about how much oversight the local authorities or police have.
[00:18:13] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:13] Lindsey Kennedy: Or whether they can go in, whether they can exercise any kind of authority and power there. But this one in Laos, this is complete Wild West Territory. The guy runs it like his personal playground. We saw what we are pretty sure were Lao soldiers that he had hired as his personal bodyguards, guarding the place like guarding the outskirts, but also him. Some walked past us up in front of one of his casinos when we were there last time, which was—
[00:18:36] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:18:36] Lindsey Kennedy: Gave us a bit of a fright because we were writing about him. They kind of just don't do what they want. And when you speak to people in Laos or the police officers, authorities, they'll say, "Oh, we're not allowed to go in there because that's China." And it's like, it's on your territory, it's in your country. Like—
[00:18:50] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:18:50] Lindsey Kennedy: —there's absolutely no international legal precedent for you not being able to go in there. That's insane. But enough people believe it and there's enough uncertainty that he gets away with it. So in Thailand, and again in this particular SEZ, a bunch of Thai people, some of them children were tricked into going to work in this SEZ and they were, yeah, kept against their will. They were tortured. Some of the girls were basically threatened. That if they didn't make enough money, they'd be solved into sex work. And the authorities in Thailand weren't influential enough to talk directly to Zhao Wei and his people. They had to go and find someone on the Lao side who had enough connections with the business people who run this place, well, the gangster really who runs this place that they could go and ask as a personal favor, "Can we possibly just retrieve this one girl because it's making such a massive scene back in Thailand over the border?" That is the kind of power these individual gangsters have.
[00:19:38] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:19:39] Nathan Paul Southern: Technically, the Lao government and police have complete authority over this place, but it doesn't matter if that's technically the rule under international law, if you are scared of these gangsters because you know they're a lot more powerful than you and you know that the government has such strong links with them that they have given the land of the country to them for 99 years. It doesn't matter what is technically correct. It matters what you feel. And when you're allowed, caught on $190 a month, are you really going to risk walking up to these armed guards to try to make an arrest and you wouldn't get the warrant from the higher-ups in your district anyway. So it's really not in anyone's interest that pushed this. They're too scared, they're not powerful enough, and they know that these guys have considerably more sway than the local government or even the centralized government.
[00:20:28] Jordan Harbinger: You wrote that Laos can't do anything here. If Lao police go inside, they need to leave their guns. This is a quote from somebody who I think worked nearby. Even if they kill someone, the Lao government has to ask permission to come into Kings Romans, they have their own law. And again, Kings Romans is a casino complex inside one of these Special Economic Zones, SEZ, but they're casinos, right? So people are going, "Wait, wait, wait. I thought you said scams. This is a casino." Were these casinos? And why is it now a scam center? That's a little confusing.
[00:20:57] Lindsey Kennedy: A lot of these places followed the same process, especially in Cambodia. Cambodians aren't actually legally allowed to gamble, so most casinos get set up along border areas or in areas designed primarily for Chinese tourism, right? So you have these places that either serve Chinese tourists or there are longer Thai border to serve Thai tourists or the Vietnamese border to serve Vietnamese tourists, especially Sihanoukville, which is the really, really famous, famous — infamous, I guess.
[00:21:21] Jordan Harbinger: Infamous, yeah.
[00:21:22] Lindsey Kennedy: On the coast, in Cambodia, which serves mostly Chinese tourists. There was this huge amount of investment in that place. So it went from being a quite a sleepy little town to suddenly being completely overrun with like something, I think it was like 200 casinos or something completely crazy. And these are mega casinos as well, a lot of them. So you suddenly had all this investment and that was meant to attract all of this tourism. A lot of it just became sort of like a way of laundering money and then attracted all this other kind of vice as well. So, you know, all this kind of a new prostitution industry. And then inevitably like drugs and wildlife trafficking and everything else that springs up around these places.
[00:21:55] But then very quickly during COVID, there wasn't any tourism coming in. Like Cambodia closed its borders really quickly. I mean, China has only just opened its borders at all, to incoming or outgoing tourism. So there weren't really any Chinese tourists coming in. There weren't even any Thai or Vietnamese tourists really coming across the border. So you suddenly had all these enormous casino complexes that didn't have any way of making money. So they turned dabbled with different things. They tried sort of illegal online gambling. They tried video link gambling, and then they basically realized that the best way of making a ton of money would be to repurpose these huge buildings that have enormous dormitories for all the staff into scam centers. And casinos have incredible security right, as well. So it's very easy to lock people inside and have people outside not notice for a long period of time, especially if they're not any visitors to some places that are relatively remote.
[00:22:42] So that's how it began really. But now it's got to the point where scam centers make so much more money than anything else. You know, we've heard about construction companies that have predesigned, replicable designs for scam centers. They roll all over the country where you have things like the base level of the compound is a kind of small casino for appearance's sake. And then you have eight floors of dorms in scam center rooms for people to work and sleep in. The second to top floor is a complete blackout room with no windows because that's your torture room where you take people when they're failing at their jobs. And then, the very top floor is like a luxury apartment for the scam boss owner basically. And you'd make a lot more money designing these places than designing any other kind of building in Cambodia, which is just insane.
[00:23:26] Jordan Harbinger: That is crazy.
[00:23:27] Nathan Paul Southern: And you see this, it's not like it's hidden away. I mean, some of them are a little bit more difficult to find. And so some of these scam compounds are enormous skyscrapers that look like huge apartment blocks, and there's maybe 13 or 14 of them. And you can have several thousand people in there. And we can kind of spot them because of the barbed wire, the clothes hanging on the balconies. And we can know, oh, that's a huge, huge scam compound, right? And we'll go in and we'll try and get as close as we can, try and talk to people and see what's going on. But then, the ones that Lindsey are talking about, these new purpose-built ones are a lot smaller that are just popping up everywhere, not just in Cambodia. The same model was being replicated in the Philippines and Myanmar and in Laos as well.
[00:24:06] And you go to, there's one city on the Thai border in Cambodia called Poipet, where we see no police last time we were there at all. Absolutely no police. And we were up all night going around the different streets that we thought may have scam centers. And you just see them and the entire city is just run by these places. And you look up and the black windows just signify every single one that's a scam center. And some are full streets of just that. And you see the barbed wire, you see the blackout windows and you know, it's exactly that. There's no police around. The only police are Thai and Chinese gangsters. They're the only people that are running the entire city. And it's calm, right? It like, it's not like there's shootouts every day. Like sometimes that stuff happens, but it's usually actually quite calm. And you talk to the local people and they know exactly what's happening. They're scared, but there's nowhere that you can turn to. There's nothing you can do because the amount of money these places make is just absolutely insane.
[00:25:00] Jordan Harbinger: It's like a narco-state, but it's a scam state.
[00:25:03] Nathan Paul Southern: Yeah.
[00:25:06] Jordan Harbinger: You are listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guests, Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy. We'll be right back.
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[00:28:47] Now back to Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy.
[00:28:52] Instead of producing drugs and them owning the whole local government and all the authorities, it's just a scam state where it's like, "Yeah, we know your daughter got kidnapped or killed, or somebody got shot here, but we're not going to send cops because those are the gangsters territory and we're not going to rock that boat because they kick up a million dollars a week to whatever governor is in the area who kicks that up to the president's kid and nobody's interested in your kid's death, or the insecurity that you find yourself or the forced labor jobs or the human trafficking." It's just wildly insane.
[00:29:25] Lindsey Kennedy: That's the benefit of trafficking people in from other countries as well. Like, no one's going to kick that much of a fuss up for like foreign nationals that I don't know in that center.
[00:29:33] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:29:33] Lindsey Kennedy: There was more of a fuss when briefly some of these places tried to use local people and obviously, then it was like, well no, there's way too much attention. There's going to be people protesting outside. But when you start just bringing people in from abroad, no one's fighting their corner in the country and they don't have any power in that country.
[00:29:47] Nathan Paul Southern: The same kind of thing happened in the sex work trafficking like in the early days as well. And it still does in certain countries where they tell you, "You can try and leave this brothel if you want, but bear in mind you don't have a passport. You're not legally in this country. You'll be arrested for illegal being here." And that is what happens, especially in Cambodia. I mean, we were trying to help one girl that was taken into one of the compounds a little while back and a few weeks ago she got in touch with me to see if there's anything I could do. And I was asking around different kind of NGOs, different international police organizations that are involved in the country. Like, "Is there anything we can do here?" Asking some police contacts. They are like, "No, no, we know that compound. There's no getting anyone out of that." And then, she messages me saying they're going to traffic me to Myanmar at 10 o'clock tomorrow night."
[00:30:37] And once you go to Myanmar, the chances of getting you out are just so, so much smaller because you're in a full conflict zone at that point and I phoned up every possible contact we had. So we just thought, like, lost a few people who had been in contact and just trying to do what you could to get her out. And everyone, like loads of people pulled together. I even put it on Twitter, like, "Look, she's going to get sent out tomorrow. Can people please just rally? Can we just get as one girl out of this compound?" So like, drove out to the compounds, middle of nowhere, like terrifying little border town of just one casino right on the Thai border where it's just a dirt track that leads over into Thailand with absolutely like no border patrol whatsoever other than in one certain point.
[00:31:19] And when up trying to help, she messaged me saying, "Cancel whatever rescue you have going on." I said, "Wait, what do you mean? I didn't even say I was going to do it." And she went, "They know a journalist has been speaking to the police and the authorities. They know that you've been trying to push for my release. And they said they'll beat me again. They'll torture me again if you come tonight." And she explained that it's just a few weeks back, one person escaped from the compound and when they did, the police dragged the person back into the compound and they then tortured that person in front of everyone else who's entrapped inside the scam center.
[00:32:00] But we got really, really lucky. And I think it's just because it went quite up the chain. And we had the Thai authorities and we had like Thai police and we had a local militia who was in a weird sense, kind of befriended near the Myanmar border and they were waiting with guns. And there's a Thai police officer called, literally his name is Big Joke. And he was waiting because he's looking to raise his profile and he wanted to arrest these guys when they crossed into Thailand. And something happened where it went senior enough up in the Cambodian police where someone made the decision she leaves. So they came out in the guard just a few hours before I got there.
[00:32:32] And then, when she gets sent back to the safe house, I'm thinking, "Okay, she's finally safe," but no, then the police invite in the people who had been holding her captive to the police station to continue to threaten her, say that, "You owe us money." And then, the police would say, "Well, it sounds like you owe them money. It sounds like we've got a situation here where you're going to have to pay them back the money." And they were denying her the right to speak to her embassy. Then, they started saying they were going to charge her for illegally working in the country. And then, they wanted a drug tester and all of these different threats. Eventually, enough pressure again from international agencies. Some were really helpful, others left so, and then got her to Poipet.
[00:33:11] Now, she's stuck in a different police station. And we don't know how long she'll be there, but at least she's kind of safe right now. But it goes through each stage of like government bureaucracy in place where either they want a payment to let this one person go, or they know that the biggest employers in town is the huge scam compounds and you don't want to piss them off. So you know it's just one person that's enough to bring the human traffickers into the police station and allow them to continue to threaten the person that you just rescued. And the only reason that you rescued her is because someone big enough just said, "Right, take her out. She's causing a bit of a problem.
[00:33:45] Jordan Harbinger: That's so, so sad and it makes it seem really hopeless. I mean, your articles have a lot of examples of Malaysian nationals who say they paid a broker to go work in a casino and now they're stuck in these scam jobs. Children as young as 13 and 14 girls, mostly obviously for the sex trade, which is disgusting and they're relying on, or I should say they're using and leveraging the fact that there's the pandemic. There's increased job insecurity, financial desperation, weakened enforcement, kids are on the Internet learning, using the Internet to talk to each other, so they've got recruiters on there as well. They're falsely recruiting these people, but then they're stripping them of their passports. They're taking their identity documents, they're moving them from country to country. They're putting them in debt bondage, like you mentioned, forced labor beating, sexual abuse. I mean, it's crazy. And I know that you've seen a lot of this stuff firsthand. How did you even get wind of this? And then how did you, frankly, get the stones to go out there yourselves? I don't think I would do that right now. It seems dangerous.
[00:34:50] Lindsey Kennedy: So we've been based, both of us been based in Cambodia for quite a long time. And then Cambodia did this, it was kind of incredible. Cambodia didn't really get a COVID outbreak until a year into the rest of the world's COVID outbreak basically. So it was about April 2021 when they had their first community outbreak. And we started being really confused by the fact that there seemed to be many outbreaks around the same time, but all these different casino towns. And we couldn't put our finger on why they were outbreaks at the casino towns at first. We'd figured out, as much as we're pretty sure people are being trafficked illegally and they're not going through all the normal entry points, they're not being tested for COVID on entry. And we think that's why there'd been a few kind of outbreaks, right? But around the same time, a couple of other really amazing journalists that were, that we know and we're friends with, were also looking at specific compounds where they'd got murmurs, that there were people inside being kept there against their world.
[00:35:36] And then it just all kind of exploded. We realized that, yeah, all of these casino places had been repurposed as scam centers. And then, one by one, it just turned out there were just more and more of them all over the country, but at this point, everyone's attention had been on Cambodia, not there was like masses of attention outside Cambodia, but all the attention that there had been on Cambodia. We then happened to be traveling around Southeast Asia working on an unrelated project. It was to do with wildlife traffic and environmental crime. And we realized that a lot of places we were visiting, like Laos, the Thai, Myanmar border, a lot of these places were also having the same things happen.
[00:36:11] And not only were they also having these big scam centers emerge, but people seem to be being moved and being sold from place to place, from a scam center to scam center in this kind of network within Southeast Asia. So we kind of realized that a lot of these places were linked and a few of the same names kept coming up. So some of the investors, there's a couple of dodgy people, like Broken Tooth, his name comes up a lot. He is a Chinese gangster, member of the 14k triads. He's already been in trouble enough times in China that he'd left Macau, where he originally had interesting casinos and then ended up in Cambodia with interesting casinos and is now a chief investor in Shwe Kokko, which is an absolute hellhole of a casino, lawless gambling town, town in Myanmar.
[00:36:54] So we saw all these things kind of starting to connect up. Around this time in Cambodia, the Cambodian government had enough pressure from enough different people that it was quite embarrassed. It had also been downgraded in this report for the TIP report, which is a Trafficking in Persons report. And if you get downgraded to a certain point, then you start actually losing access to international funding and things. So they were downgraded because they were doing absolutely nothing about this modern slavery crisis. So they panicked and they'd made a big show of closing down a few of the most notorious places like this place called _____ in Sihanoukville. But then, it became really obvious really quickly that actually people were just being sold to other companies or moved around, or moved out of the country. We then also, we were trying to figure out how money was being laundered from, because a lot of it ends up in cryptocurrency.
[00:37:37] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:37:37] Lindsey Kennedy: But we were trying to figure out where else it, how else it might be being laundered. And we did a visit to a few places in the Balkans. We'd had a few hints that there might be connections, but when we got to Croatia and Montenegro, we found out that it didn't seem to be that the money was necessarily the only thing moving through these areas. There'd also been a few cases before COVID had even started of small-scale scam compounds inside private houses and that had been busted and where like sort of just like 90 people rather than the thousands of people you get in Cambodia, like 90 Taiwanese people have been held against their world doing these kind of online scams. And they seem to kind of match up with where casino owners with serious gangster connections in Southeast Asia had open new casinos in Europe. So there seemed to be all these connections around the world with the same kind of people doing the same kind of scams or online gambling, like illegal activity and running their money through casinos and it's just insane the scale of this basically.
[00:38:34] Jordan Harbinger: Did I hear that there's illegal scam sites running in Europe that had illegally trafficked Taiwanese people—?
[00:38:42] Lindsey Kennedy: Yes.
[00:38:42] Jordan Harbinger: —that were transported from Taiwan, tricked by an influencer or a job ad or whatever to go to Eastern Europe, held there against their will. In Eastern Europe?
[00:38:51] Lindsey Kennedy: Yeah. In the Balkans, in Croatia, which is obviously again—
[00:38:53] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:38:54] Lindsey Kennedy: —big beautiful country that people go on fancy holidays, right? It doesn't feel like—
[00:38:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:38:58] Lindsey Kennedy: —some of this would happen, but also to make that even more mental, the Taiwanese police had done a joint raid with the Croatians to get to release, I think it was in 2019, to release some of these Taiwanese people that be held against their will. They were then supposed to be brought back to safety in Taiwan. What actually happened is a few years later, a few of them turned up on the Vietnamese border being trafficked into Cambodia to clearly work in a different scam center. So we don't know what happened to them in the interim. The Taiwanese police have not been helpful, were talking to us about their case.
[00:39:28] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:39:29] Lindsey Kennedy: But clearly they weren't looked after and they were able to be sold on or re-tricked into this industry. It was just completely insane.
[00:39:35] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:39:36] Nathan Paul Southern: It was in Croatia and in Montenegro. So we went out to the sites in both that it had happened, and there was maybe only about four locations or so. But like Lindsey was saying, there's certain key figures and their names keep popping up all around us. It's usually within the casino or the gaming industry or something similar. And the guy that we were looking at there and we can't find a definitive link for just, you know, he's just near everything at the right time, is a guy called Paul Phua, a kind of triad linked guy who is now living in Malaysia and owns an enormous casino. And we talk about this scary level of corruption and how could you possibly have thousands of people stuck in a compound? And people are like, "Oh, well, that's in Cambodia and that's in Myanmar, and that's different, but hey, you still had 93 people in just one place in Croatia, maybe a hundred in the other place in Montenegro." And it just so turns out that there's also a place where people like Paul Phua who can develop such close relationships with the government of Montenegro that they end up getting offered positions like Ambassador to San Marino.
[00:40:38] So even though you're not a Montenegro citizen and you're a triad-linked, clear gangster that owns casinos, you can just come in create new relationships to the government and then it explains pretty easily how these places can set up essentially anywhere. So we've seen it in the Balkans, we've seen it in Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos. I think there are some now developing in Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia. It is not just something that's popped up and then there'll be a bit of tension that will go away. Again, this is a new enormous crime type that I don't think is going anywhere. Because I don't think there's enough international attention and really, really addressing it.
[00:41:15] I mean, Like we were saying that these big raids happened last year when enough international attention was put on Cambodia. But it took us a long time of pushing stories and articles about this. It took a long time for NGOs, different journalists, all pushing us in the world just weren't really clenching to it. And maybe it's because it sounds quite unbelievable because of the scale of it, or maybe it's just a part of the world that it's never going to be more important than the people who are being scammed in the developed world, right? And there's a disparity there.
[00:41:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:41:43] Nathan Paul Southern: But when that happened, Cambodia shut down a few places, made a big song and dance about it, and then it's all just grown massively again since. So there's no sign of this stopping. And since they did their little sham raids where actually a bunch of people were arrested for labor and immigration offenses rather than the actual traffickers. Since they've done that, they've been bumped back up again on financial regulation awards. So Cambodia's kind of out of the woods of getting financially blacklisted because of a few different sham raids. So they've just been enough box-ticking. Everyone can kind of go back.
[00:42:15] Lindsey Kennedy: But the thing is though, like going back to your question though, of like why we do it is because, I mean, yeah, that's a lot of it has been really scary and the short answer is probably that we're idiots. But like there have been a lot of times when, you know, you push and you push and you push to try and get people to care about some of this stuff, and you meet with enough agencies in Cambodia or internationally or you put enough stuff and you don't know if it's making any difference, and then suddenly something will happen that shows you that it's like when Cambodia was downgraded in this TIP report, right?
[00:42:41] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:42:41] Lindsey Kennedy: Which actually had a big impact on their policies internally at the time. Like, these governments are worried enough, like something can hurt them, whether it's financial, whether it's reputational, like something can bother them enough that they will at least try to perform as if they're adjusting their behavior.
[00:42:56] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:42:56] Lindsey Kennedy: And so you always have this little dangling bit of hope that something will be the magic bullet that will change this industry in some way.
[00:43:03] Jordan Harbinger: It does make sense. Man, it's just so, it is shocking, and I think you're right that it doesn't get as much attention because this is a part of the world where people are like, "Where is this? How many people could it possibly be?" But yeah, they're scamming us. They're still criminals. And looking at some of the numbers, the largest cohorts of victims appear to be from Vietnam and Taiwan. So Taiwan says about 5,000 citizens have been recorded as traveling to Cambodia and not returning, 5,000. Police said they've identified at least 370 as like confirmed being held against their will. But of course, victims say the number is likely a lot higher. There's one escaped woman who says, in fact, she swam across the river to safety in Thailand. She said over 300 other women were still trapped in the one building where she was and had been forced into prostitution after responding to a job advertised by an Instagram influencer. So how many people do we think are actually trapped here? Because if there's 5,000 just from Taiwan that the government has confirmed, and then there's 300 in the one building where the one person escaped. Has anyone done the math on this?
[00:44:11] Lindsey Kennedy: I mean, even the Cambodian government admits this because there must be at least hundreds of thousands of people in Cambodia alone.
[00:44:17] Jordan Harbinger: Hundreds of thousands.
[00:44:18] Nathan Paul Southern: 100,000 is what they roughly estimated last year, yeah.
[00:44:22] Lindsey Kennedy: The Global Anti-Scam organization, which is tracking a lot of this, thinks there's about half a million people in Southeast Asia.
[00:44:27] Jordan Harbinger: Half a million.
[00:44:28] Lindsey Kennedy: Yeah.
[00:44:28] Nathan Paul Southern: And again, just like emphasizing that thing that you can just see it. It's so, so many cities now. It's this growing issue. You just see it like absolutely everywhere. And even the countries that you expect to be a bit better, like a bit more, maybe slightly less corrupt, maybe a little bit more organized, places like Thailand which aren't in the same bracket usually as is as Cambodia and Laos and Myanmar. I mean, when Lindsey was talking earlier about those people that we were in touch with when we were at Kings Romans, who had just gotten out, there was one guy who was a Nepalese. So increasingly Indians and Nepalese are being darted because the English language skills is a really good skill and people are desperate for work.
[00:45:06] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:45:06] Nathan Paul Southern: So, you know, get over and put to work. The Nepalese guy who had just been released from this trafficking scam compound for, he was in for months and he was in a really bad state. The Thais wouldn't let him in when he got on the boat over from Laos because he'd overstayed his reentry visa because he'd been trafficked.
[00:45:26] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:45:27] Nathan Paul Southern: And so a compound, and then they were saying, "No, no, no, you need to go back." And we tried to explain to him, he was like, "No, no, no. If he goes back, he's going to be put inside a trafficking compound." And they said, "Well, he's not good legal rights come into Thailand." It was like, hold him here, phone the Nepali Embassy, make a case, do something. Don't put him on that boat. And Lindsey, you said, just put him on a boat to place further down the shore of Laos. So he'd still be in the country, but he wouldn't be in Kings Romans compound. And I just like pointed at the phone number, the anti-trafficking phone number that is on the wall of this border post police station and said, "Can we phone that? Can we talk to them? This is trafficking." They said that it's not a real number, it's just up there to hear people.
[00:46:09] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. It's not real, not even a real number, real agency, nothing.
[00:46:13] Nathan Paul Southern: No one answered when we called. Yeah.
[00:46:15] Jordan Harbinger: That's so horrifying. So what happened to this guy?
[00:46:17] Lindsey Kennedy: Well, actually we did manage to keep in touch with a mutual contact and they did eventually let him back out the other way. And I know that he managed to get back to his embassy in Chen and via Laos. Yeah, so he was incredibly lucky in this situation. I think he'd already paid his exit from this place, and the company he was working with had been spooked because they'd been a kind of like semi-raid on them. It wasn't like a serious raid where they'd been a bit spooked by something. So I think they just weren't taking any chances that week. I think a different week he would've been very unlucky.
[00:46:46] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, that's so awful. Oth other escape stories are just really harrowing. Another guy walked through rice patties for two days, sugar cane plantations and jungle with a guide, thankfully, who steered him away from landmines placed more than 40 years ago during Cambodia Civil War. So even if you escape and even if you get out of the town with no cops and you walk into the jungle and you don't get eaten by something while you're there, you get to walk for days and days hopefully going towards the border and maybe step on a landmine.
[00:47:17] Lindsey Kennedy: And a lot of people were escaping from on the Vietnam side, there's a river, near to it, one of the places that people were being kept. A lot of guys had jumped into this river to try and escape and there was quite a few people drowned trying to get away into Vietnam last year. A guy that we interviewed, this Chinese guy who's absolutely lovely and is now spending a lot of his time back in China, trying to sort of educate other people on how to not get caught up in the same thing. He tried to break out in the middle of the night, he'd made this whole plan and he jumped from one building to another building and lost his footing as he jumped onto a lower roof and fell and broke his spine.
[00:47:52] Jordan Harbinger: Ah.
[00:47:52] Lindsey Kennedy: He was basically crawling across the ground thinking he was going to die, dragging himself, tried dragging himself to the road. And he said the guards were just pointing out the window, laughing at him because they thought he was a goner. So they were just watching him. They thought they were watching him die, and they were just like laughing at him.
[00:48:06] Jordan Harbinger: Ah.
[00:48:06] Nathan Paul Southern: And he managed to cross the road. And a Cambodian tuk-tuk driver, I don't know if you're familiar with tuk-tuks. They're like these kind of vehicles.
[00:48:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, those little tiny, like motorcycle.
[00:48:15] Nathan Paul Southern: Rickshaw, yeah.
[00:48:15] Jordan Harbinger: Taxi, yeah, rickshaw, yeah.
[00:48:17] Lindsey Kennedy: So like a local Cambodian tuk-tuk driver saw him and basically rescued him, put him in the back and took him to a hospital. And then, at that time, there was a network of like local Chinese business people and volunteers who were just helping Chinese people who escaped from these places. And he was really lucky and he was kind of helped to get out the country of process of three or four months. And when I spoke to him last, he was about to have surgery on his spine. But like yeah, the ordeals that people go through to try and escape are just horrific.
[00:48:45] Nathan Paul Southern: And increasingly, more and more people just decide to kill themselves.
[00:48:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:48:48] Nathan Paul Southern: You know, breaking your spine and crawling away is f*cking horrible as that is. Like, that's one of the luckier stories.
[00:48:55] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:48:55] Nathan Paul Southern: And you have to have so many things. Go right for you to be able to get out, whether it's enough people putting enough annoying pressure or they're just so happened to raid your one compound to make a headline that day. There's a lot of things that need to go right and they usually don't. So there's just constant stories, especially at Sihanoukville and also Bavet on the Vietnam border, where people just jump out of the window. No one feel well, they'll kill themselves because they just cannot take it anymore. These people are work sometimes up to 18 hours a day. They're tortured regularly, they're tased, they're sexually assaulted, they're beaten and humiliated in front of everyone, but also on top of that, they know that they're stealing people's entire life savings. So it's like one of the worst forms of slavery in that way because it's not even like you're being enslaved and that's all that you need to worry about. You also don't need to feel an immense level of guilt at the activity that you're doing as well. So people hate themselves as well as being tortured on a daily basis. And it's really, really hard for a lot of people to come back from that as well.
[00:50:09] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guests, Nathan, Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy. We'll be right back.
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[00:53:09] Now for the rest of my conversation with Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy.
[00:53:14] The heartlessness of this is particularly striking. There's one piece that you wrote and it said, "It was after he was trafficked a second time that," his name is Soraton, "suffered his most significant trauma. He was working at a fictitious loan company that tricked consumers into sending money by telling them it was the only way to access a larger loan. One victim, a middle-aged man from Eastern Thailand who needed the cash to pay for his mother's medical care, called the office on video to plead for his life savings back. When a supervisor refused, the man picked up a handgun, pointed it at his head and pulled the trigger. 'There was just silence after we heard the gunshot,' said Soraton, who was stationed next to the monitor and watched the entire incident. The boss just walked away. They have no feelings because they're human traffickers." That is one of the most effed-up things that I've probably ever read. And it's just so bad. I mean, the romance scams. This guy needs, his mother needed medical care and they scammed him and then he's like, "Look, man, I need the money." And they were like, "We don't care." And then, he killed himself on camera. I mean, and that's happening times a million all the time.
[00:54:16] I know they're doing romance scams, loan scams, the pig-butchering cryptocurrency scams and stuff like that. This is a weird sort of set of crimes because even the Chinese government is cracking down or trying to crack down on this because it's their own citizens being trafficked. It's their own citizens being scammed. But it's also Chinese gangsters that are doing it. And China needs Cambodia as an ally because Vietnam is kind of closer to the United States, which is a little ironic and they need this counterbalance. But also it sort of expands Chinese influence in this weird way. Can you speak to this a little bit? Because it's kind of confusing. It's like China wants it to stop, but not really. They kind of just want to point the cannon at other countries instead.
[00:54:54] Lindsey Kennedy: Yeah. I think it's important to remember sometimes that, like, I think we often think of the Chinese government as like one homogenous mess with one purpose.
[00:55:01] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:55:01] Lindsey Kennedy: It's like any government, right? There's people within that, there's going to be people or sectors within that, or even regional governments within that who have their own ties to businesses or their own ties to sort of gangsters or whatever. And their aims might not always align. But what is true is that there are a lot of Chinese gangsters, like this Broken Tooth guy we mentioned before, who did time in China and then, left China is sort of in shame, but then have set up places around the world where as part of their business empire, which is often a criminal business empire. They also set up cultural groups like that might be like a Chamber of Commerce or it might be like or called the Hongmen Associations, which are basically the idea of them is they promote Chinese interests and they bring Chinese businesses together and they always go out of their way to do certain things like advocating for the reunification of China and Taiwan, that kind of thing and being very anti-Hong Kong. And there are occasionally sort of like some signs that they might get involved in violence against Hong Kong, pro-democracy protestors abroad, that kind of thing. They're very useful to the Chinese government or deceptors of the Chinese government.
[00:56:06] And one thing that we are really, really scared about right now is it turned out, it came out last year that the Fujian government, the Fujian Police Department, I think in China, which is like a place in China, they've set up 54, I think so far, sort of illegal police stations around the world. And all these different countries are secret police stations, which they said were partly to tackle local crime and things like scams and online gambling and deal with their citizens and persuade them to come home if they break the law. There have been quite a lot of signs. They've actually been quite involved in trying to influence politics in different countries, that they also are sometimes used to, let's say, a Chinese student is found to have said something that wasn't very flashing about China during a history lesson at UNY. Then, they maybe bring them in and just have a quiet word, but then remind them they're an ambassador for China. They know where their family live. And it's very, very sinister.
[00:56:58] A lot of these places have cropped up pretty much everywhere we've seen the scam stuff, right? So they're in Cambodia, they're in Croatia and Montenegro, they're like everywhere you see the scams. So we are still trying to like figure out exactly what their relationship is with these scam guys and whether they are kind of furthering the of the larger figures while helping to keep down any smaller players, that kind of thing. We're very concerned that there's two of these in London and one in Glasgow, which are our two hometowns, but also where they seem to have been set up. The one in Glasgow has been set up above a Chinese restaurant that has been linked to the triad since the '80s.
[00:57:35] Nathan Paul Southern: Known triad restaurant. Yeah.
[00:57:37] Lindsey Kennedy: Yeah, exactly. And like the ones in London seem to have been set up in the business premises of Chinese business owners who at least one of them has some pretty dodgy connections with Chinese gangsters in London, people who have been done in the past for massive money laundering, for brothel keeping, for like drug trafficking. Basically, it's sort of the whole cohort really. So we're still trying to tease out exactly what this relationship is between these sort of envoys of the Chinese government and police around the world and these pretty horrific local gangster that run businesses. And that's going to take us a long time to figure out. But yeah, it is really scary.
[00:58:14] Nathan Paul Southern: It can almost sound like a little bit conspiratorial saying like—
[00:58:17] Jordan Harbinger: I was just going to say, it sounds like a conspiracy theory. Like all the Chinese have secret police stations. And it's like people right now are like, oh, come on, Red Scare propaganda.
[00:58:25] Nathan Paul Southern: The police stations are, I mean, we went to the police station in London yesterday. It's in Croydon. And then, we followed some addresses like to these scam sites where they're just used as basically a dropoff for thousands of companies registered that run these scam operations in Cambodia. So you just go to these doors and you just see piles and piles of letters all addressed from people saying like, most likely, "Please give our money back." And also the tax man saying, "Who the hell is this company? We need money." And there's just thousands of letters and these dead addresses, right? And then you can look, there's up quite easily about the Chinese police stations. And their main concern has been that political link, right? And then there's one in Chinatown in New York, for instance, and that's got quite a lot of high profile attention.
[00:59:06] But the relationship between organized crime groups and the Chinese state has been a pragmatic thing for the Chinese government for decades. And you can even see it when the Brits were leaving Hong Kong, there was basically that conversation between the Beijing government coming in and the triad gangs that were inside the territory. And there was a really high murder rate. Hong Kong's very violent place at that time. And they had to work with them saying, "Listen, you can operate, you can do your illegal gambling, you can do your prostitution. You know, you can do loan sharking, but you got to bring the violence down. We want tourists to come here. We want banks to come and settle here. Keep this place safe and you guys control the vice and we'll let you operate." And from that, they've also said in more recent years, "Oh, also there's a protest. That's a pro-Hong Kong one. Can you go out and just beat the crap out of the protestors who are fighting for Hong Kong." And the guys who go and attack these people on the street are the triads, the Chinese mafia.
[01:00:02] But it's now expanded where China have said to organize crime groups increasingly, "Listen, we don't want you creating any instability in our country, and that goes for drugs and for violence, for moving weapons. But we will turn somewhat of a blind eye if you go and operate in different partner countries that we have around the world where you can do some criminal activity. But the exchange for that is you don't take the piss too much. If we say calm down on some things, you do that. But also you act as a pro-China mouthpiece through semi-legitimized Chinese business organizations. And then we won't look too heavily into what you do in the special economics zone that we give you."
[01:00:44] So there is a relationship between Chinese organized crime and the Chinese state at some levels, because you cannot have tens and tens of thousands of slaves in enormous slavery scam compounds just on the countries bordering China right next door. You cannot have that without some form of permission from the Chinese state. There is a strong relationship there, but it does change and it's complicated to understand. And there are Chinese police trying to stop it in Chinese government. But there are ties with the government to these organized crime groups that are incredibly strong.
[01:01:21] Lindsey Kennedy: There's also been a mark shift over the last couple of years of these places primarily targeting Chinese speakers within on the Chinese mainland to targeting Europeans and Americans, Australians, but also Chinese speakers in these countries. So I think there probably has been a point at which the Chinese government had a bit of a word with people and been like, "You're embarrassing us back home. Can you change your target audience to other people around the world?" I think that's probably an arrangement that's been reached.
[01:01:46] Jordan Harbinger: I wondered about that because I was thinking, do they just scam Chinese people? And then either the population got so educated that these are obviously scams that it didn't work but there's a lot of people in China, right? So I feel like you'd never run out of victims or, yeah, my question was, or did they say, "Hey, look, if you're going to steal from people, don't do it in a place where they then report it to us and we have to do something about it and we can't. Do it to Chinese people in Canada." Because I get, we all get these scam texts. But for some reason, and I don't know if, I don't think I'm alone on this, but I definitely got more of them in Chinese, which is weird because while I can read Mandarin, they don't know that. And why am I getting voicemails from them in Chinese? Why am I getting Mandarin texts? Why are they always Asian women? Some of it is probably targeted because I do podcast episodes like this where the CCP is, I mean, I've had agents of them come after me for various things or try and trick me to do things. But a lot of it's just scammy stuff. And I found that, you know, if you do an image search on the Chinese Internet, you can find the picture that they sent me, even if it's not on the United States or sorry, the rest of the world Internet. But some of it is definitely just in Chinese.
[01:02:53] And on previous episodes of the show, on the episode that we did about the pig-butchering scam, which again was episode 737 with Winston Sterzel, for people who want to go check it out, we actually crafted a response text in Chinese that said something like, actually this number belongs to, and I can't remember if it's like the Secretary of the Agriculture, lose my number and it's all in Chinese. And a lot of times people would respond and they'd be like, "Wow, I'm really sorry. It's a wrong number. Please forgive me." And they'd use all these honorable terms. But now, I'm like, crap, what if the person texting me is actually just in a cage, you know, essentially somewhere in Cambodia. Now, I'm scaring them for no reason. Like maybe I got off their phone list, but I'm not really doing anything to help them.
[01:03:34] Nathan Paul Southern: I've started saying that to people. I've had the normal texts come in, and so sometimes it starts off as, "Hey, do you fancy earning a bit of money working part-time from home?" You know, it's not always, "Hey, I think you look really good-looking." Oh, thank you, ridiculous model that wouldn't obviously talk to me in real life.
[01:03:49] Jordan Harbinger: Hey, don't be so hard on yourself.
[01:03:50] Nathan Paul Southern: Sometimes it's quite like, you know, the part-time work ones. And I've just started saying, are you enslaved in a Southeast Asian compound?
[01:03:58] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[01:03:58] Nathan Paul Southern: And I've met victims from saying that. So at first they go, "No, I don't know what you're talking about." And I go, "No, it's okay. I'm a journalist. I've written these pieces. I understand your situation. Are you allowed to leave? Are you in touch with your family?" And I've had maybe, you know, three or four people who have responded saying, "Yes, I am stuck. I don't know where I am. I was brought here. I was brought there." And then they would give you a little bit of details and would say, "I'm very, very scared. I'm being beaten. I might be in Thailand, but maybe I'm in another country nearby. I don't know. My boss is coming. I need to go." And then, maybe they've got in contact once or twice more, and then the contact usually goes dark.
[01:04:33] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[01:04:33] Nathan Paul Southern: So people have actually responded to that. So I mean, I would urge people to say that. The next time someone tries to comment, say like, "Are you being held against your will?" And just spread this around the world as much as we can that people are victims on that other side.
[01:04:46] Lindsey Kennedy: I totally agree with that, but I would also say though, just to be a little bit careful and if like it's better to say to people like, "Here's a number you can call. Like here's GAS's number here. Speak to them," for example. Because I've heard from GAS especially that there's been a few rare occasions where I think maybe someone's boss was standing over their shoulder when someone's asked them that question and then they've said, "I'm here, I'm not allowed to leave unless I get this money." And then someone's felt obliged to just put some money into the system because, and then it becomes part of the scam, you know?
[01:05:13] Jordan Harbinger: Part of this scam, yeah.
[01:05:14] Lindsey Kennedy: Yeah. So it's really difficult. So I think you're absolutely right to speak to someone like they're human being. Ask them if that's happening. Ask them if you can help. Give them the right numbers or website addresses or whatever. But definitely never, ever hand over any money.
[01:05:26] Nathan Paul Southern: I mean, they are really, really good at doing it. And there's a line that all of the scammers use, which is there's no unscammable person. There's just the wrong script. And that Vietnamese girl that I spoke about earlier that we luckily helped get out of a compound a few weeks ago, she had her phone taken off her when they knew that I was trying to get people involved. And then, when she was in the police station, she was now talking to me on Instagram. So we communicate that way. Previously, we were speaking on Telegram on her phone, but the scammers now had her phone and they got in touch and said, "What are you doing? Who are you?" And I explained, "Well, I know that you guys are human traffickers doing scams, like blah, blah, blah." And they were like, "No, no, no, brother, brother. We're not. This lady, she owes us money. And she wanted to come work here as a job to pay off some of the money. This is a labor dispute. No one's been hurt." And like, if you weren't as aware of it, you could even look at that and go like, "Man, you guys are pretty convincing."
[01:06:20] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[01:06:20] Nathan Paul Southern: Yeah. Like maybe, maybe this is a labor dispute. Maybe you should get her back. Maybe she shouldn't leave. But it gets into your head really quickly. They're really, really, really effective at it. And what was interesting was they changed effortlessly between the Cambodian language, Chinese and English, because there must have been probably about six or seven people in the room all messaging to each of my different queries. And then, they would pass it and I would translate it on Google Translate, but it was so fluid and so well-written the way that they were explaining the situation.
[01:06:49] So yes, and that's the thing to bear in mind. Anyone can be scammed. People aren't idiots, right? These people find really vulnerable people who are a bit down their luck are having a rough time who can be incredibly intelligent. And it goes the other way for the people who get brought in to be the victims who are forced to do it. They're not always people from some really rural part of some very far away country that might not have heard about these kind of things. A lot of them have, and some of them are really intelligent people with degrees. One victim we spoke to recently was from India and had a really good degree in engineering, really, really smart, intelligent person. But I was just looking for a new job and just got convinced. These people can con like contact anyone.
[01:07:30] Lindsey Kennedy: He thought he was coming to be a construction engineer.
[01:07:32] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[01:07:33] Lindsey Kennedy: Yeah. And when he arrived and they said, "How good are you using a computer? That's all that matters." And he was like, "Why would that matter?"
[01:07:37] Jordan Harbinger: Right. He's like, "Hey, you guys don't seem to understand engineering very well."
[01:07:40] Lindsey Kennedy: Yes, exactly.
[01:07:41] Jordan Harbinger: "Oh, wait a minute. I'm in a cage." Yeah. God, it's so horrible. So, okay, so people on both ends are actually victims. If we get a scam call, yeah, I was going to say, what do we reply with? Can we give them a hotline? Can I put that in the show notes? "Hey, are you being held against your will? If so, here's a place that you can text when you are away from your boss using, I don't know, a hidden app or something like that."
[01:08:03] Lindsey Kennedy: Yeah, absolutely.
[01:08:04] Nathan Paul Southern: Global Anti-Scam organization is probably the best one. We'll give you a few links that you can put to the bottom if people do want to just have a few links to just respond with like talk to these people. Talk to these people.
[01:08:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Because I think, you know, we had thousands of people responding with, "I'm an official in the Chinese Communist Party, don't ever text me again," which was kind of entertaining because the people get freaked out or they don't care. A lot of them don't care because they're like, "Whatever, I'm in Cambodia, you can't touch me and I'm not Chinese anyways." Or you can tell someone else is typing because the language gets really weird and then they're just cursing at you and you're like, this is the boss, this isn't the scammer, this is somebody else who's got worse English and is really angry. Because I've had that happen too. But I would love to figure out how we can mobilize The Jordan Harbinger Show Army to when they get these, they're just awareness machines where it's like, "Hey, if you're stuck somewhere, here's how you report it and here's how you maybe try to get out of there and people have escaped." Because they might not know that people have escaped. They might not know that people are actually looking for this and that there's international attention on this issue. And that if they can escape where they are, if they know where they are, they can get home. They might not even know that.
[01:09:09] Lindsey Kennedy: Yeah, absolutely.
[01:09:10] Jordan Harbinger: What can we even do besides that? Because it seems like. If there's a hundred thousand people being held against their will, where do you begin to trip away at this problem?
[01:09:19] Nathan Paul Southern: A lot of pressure could be put onto people's governments in the developed countries that they might be listening to this podcast on. You know what I mean? We were talking about these Chinese police stations, but a big aspect of them is that these business people or officials or whatever they are, have really tight relationships with the host government. And the one who runs the one in Croydon in London was pictured with two of the last few prime ministers, Theresa May, Boris Johnson at constant events with them. The one who runs the one in Glasgow has been pictured several times, the former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, who's a sexual assaulting, horrible person anyway, so he's stupid enough to get involved with them.
[01:09:59] But there's a kind of cohort of politicians who might now be very, very vocal about being cautious of taking money from Russian officials and oligarchs and wanting to crack down on that cash. But we were talking about it for years, right? We're talking about the dangers of Russian money for a long time, and it took the Ukraine war for a government to actually really start to take that a lot more seriously. China is getting so heavily involved in so many countries because the capital to invest into governments to really favorable relationships. I think when you read a conversation, a lot of developed nations about our relationship with China and about what the consequences of that are. There should be a lot more countries in the world right now speaking out about this, especially considering how many of their own citizens are being scammed out of their life savings but it's very difficult to find.
[01:10:52] Lindsey Kennedy: So Cambodia had issues in the past like it for a long time. It was seen as a place that people went to for child sexual abuse, for example. And the fact that there was such an international outcry and people did put pressure on their politicians to bring it up with Cambodian politicians, and there was a lot written about it and people shared those things, that embarrassed them hugely. And they have worked really hard for the last 15 years to completely clean that side of the country up. Obviously, it's never going to completely disappear, right? But it's certainly not any more than any other country now. So I think that when an issue becomes big enough that it starts to embarrass a country like Cambodia, which does rely on tourism and does have relationships with lots of other countries that economic relationships with lots of different countries, like having that kind of pressure put on them can actually make a big difference to policymaking. So it's not kind of a hopeless case.
[01:11:40] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you very much. What's next for you too? I mean, you're always off on some sort of adventure if you can call it that. What are you going to be doing next?
[01:11:48] Nathan Paul Southern: Right now, we're finishing up an investigation for NGO into small arms trafficking. We're in Southeast Asia, which has been fun. And then, we've just got a few more projects, mostly again, just kind of remaining around the Southeast Asia area for the next year, looking at the scam compounds, looking at human trafficking, looking at the links to other forms of organized crime. And then, we've got the Cambodian elections coming up in July. And probably, always what way it's going to go, you know? There's no other party. But just kind of trying to put all that together because Cambodia, once this prime minister wins this election, he'll pretty soon be passing over power to his son.
[01:12:25] Jordan Harbinger: Oh. It's that kind of election.
[01:12:26] Lindsey Kennedy: Mm-hmm.
[01:12:27] Nathan Paul Southern: He's been in power for a long time, so we'll be monitoring how that kind of changes and how organized crime groups all developed.
[01:12:33] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Really, really unbelievable. Small arms trafficking sounds interesting as well. I mean, we're obviously interested in the same stuff. The difference is you are right there with front-row seats, courtside seats to a lot of this. Aren't you worried about your safety? I mean, you guys live in Cambodia and here you are like, "Here's a criminal, and look at this criminal and this politician's involved in crime. And look at this place over here, there's tons of crime. I'm going to go there and myself and look at it." It's like, what? How are you safe doing that?
[01:13:01] Lindsey Kennedy: I mean, just in case my mom listens to this, everything's under control. We've got like protocols for everything, but no, I mean that, yeah, it is nerve-wracking sometimes.
[01:13:10] Nathan Paul Southern: I think also though, like, I mean, you know, we we're in different kind of dangerous situations where places in Southeast Asia, like scam compounds where the guys come out holding their tasers, staring me up and down, ready to do something wrong. Or in Afghanistan when the Taliban's, you know, looking for a little bit of a scrap and it's all a bit scary. But also just bearing in mind all the time that you are a like white Western journalist, still at risk, but the risk that we take are nowhere near what local journalists in places like Afghanistan or in Southeast Asia take all the time. It's a lot less problematic for a government there to disappear our journalists or to arrest the journalists from that country. We have the benefit of embassies making a lot of noise or NGOs being really vocal. So yeah, it can be a bit dangerous, but it's not nearly as dangerous for us as it's for local journalists and NGO investigators who are really risking their lives.
[01:14:08] Lindsey Kennedy: We can actually leave the country when we have something sensitive coming out, whereas our Cambodian colleagues cannot a lot of the time.
[01:14:13] Jordan Harbinger: So that's a good point. Although that's not going to make your parents feel better, just so you know. Thank you two very much, really interesting. We'll have to have you back on sometime. I'm sure there's a lot more we can talk about, but again, I really appreciate your time and you're doing really important work. I mean, most of the stuff that I've read about this is from you guys and so I think you're probably on the cutting edge of this horrific sort of stuff, but for your guys' work, we wouldn't necessarily know how horrible this really is. So hopefully, that leads to the unwinding of some of this, at least in the long term.
[01:14:45] Nathan Paul Southern: Thank you. I really hope so, man.
[01:14:49] Jordan Harbinger: Now I've got some thoughts on this episode, but before I get into that, here's a preview of my conversation with a former Homeland Security agent who reluctantly got involved in chasing down global child trafficking. Did you know that there are more people enslaved right now than there ever were before in history? Here's a quick listen.
[01:15:08] 30 million slaves in the world. Is that correct? I mean—
[01:15:11] Tim Ballard: That's insane. It is correct. 10 million of those are children who are either in slave labor, organ harvesting, or sex trafficking. The traffickers are trying to get these kids into our country and into our black sex market because that's where you can make the most money. Again, we are the demand. We drive this. It's a 150-billion-dollar-a-year business by most estimates. The amount of money made every year selling children, with that money, you could buy every single Starbucks franchise in the world, every single NBA franchise, every team, and still have enough money left over to send every child in America to college for four years.
[01:15:48] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[01:15:49] Tim Ballard: That's per year selling human beings. We go online in the dark net, and honestly, Jordan, it was about 10 times worse than my mind could have conceived. The things that people do to children I could not comprehend. We help the rescue a little girl who was smuggled in from Mexico, taken to New York City between the ages of 12 and 17 years old. In New York City, she was raped over 60,000 times. They bring them here and they just have these clients lined up and they drive her to this house, this hotel, this bar, and she's raped, I mean, easily 15 to 20 times within a 24-hour period. I mean, and this is the life of thousands, tens of thousands of children in the United States right now.
[01:16:31] Just like in the 18th, 19th century, no one's really talking about it. It's too hard. People look away. They don't want to engage. And that's why I get frustrated. Like, look what's happening right now. Like, I'm not going to get into the argument, the whole debate with the riot, I'm just using this as an example but governments are shifting now. People are getting so loud, we're going to see changes. But I would love to see someday that happen for child rape victims. I'd like to see something so loud in every country that we have riots and people screaming because the children don't have a voice. You know, they can't protest, they can't rally, and they're the most precious in the world, and yet they're being exploited, traffic, kidnapped, raped by the millions.
[01:17:11] Jordan Harbinger: For more including how Tim Ballard became involved with busting child traffickers and rescuing their victims, check out episode 369 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:17:23] This tale goes even deeper than that. Honestly, folks, there's so much that we didn't even cover because we either didn't have time or can't. We ended up working on something shortly after I recorded this interview. There's going to be more to come on that as well. You'd be surprised, right? People think, "Well, why don't you just call your embassy or get in contact, or doesn't your family know you're missing?" Several embassies have pleaded with the Cambodian government to intervene and have essentially been ignored. These crime organizations are loaded. They have enough to bribe their way into and out of pretty much anything. Meanwhile, the US Embassy has been quite careful not to speak out too much about the human trafficking crisis, mostly because they then have to downgrade Cambodia as a country in the next Trafficking in Persons report, which is something that actually ended up happening already, which means the US government would have to then cut funding at a time where frankly, we're concerned about seeding even more leverage to China, who does not care at all about organized crime going on or human trafficking in a country.
[01:18:20] One of the most mental things about this whole thing, which newspapers obviously won't really want to touch either, is that in Cambodia, Nathan and Lindsey are pretty sure, and they didn't say this on the record, but I got their permission to repeat this, the Cambodian Prime Minister's nephew is involved in a lot of this. So of course, the embassies are getting ignored. He's the same guy that was once accused of trafficking millions of dollars of heroin into Australia, hidden inside timber. I mean, this guy, there's some charmers running things over there.
[01:18:47] Now, why do I do this kind of thing? What's the point? Is it just to bring you a random, depressing news article? No. The most effective weapon against organized crime groups perpetuating scams and abusing workers is simply making what they do unprofitable. In other words, boosting awareness about the prevalence and the dangers of online and telephone scams. Educating people how to spot the signs so they don't hand over money in the first place. And look, if the scam doesn't continue, the human trafficking will lessen. And that's the real cost, right? These people who are trapped in these prison camps being forced to scam old people out of money or not-so-old people out of money.
[01:19:23] A continually updated, searchable list of thousands of known scam websites. In other words, if you get a site and you think you can invest in it, go ahead and search it. So in other words, people thinking about making an investment can check any sites or links they're using to make sure it hasn't already been identified as a con. We're going to link to that in the show notes. It's run by an NGO called Global Anti-Scam. Also, where there smoke, there's fire. It's not just human trafficking. These same places have illegal logging, wildlife trafficking. We did an episode on that, episode 545. Kings Romans Casino, other Special Economic Zone casinos have a lot of that wildlife trafficking, a lot of the logging goes on around it, the human trafficking, the scamming, the sex work, the sex work with minors being trafficked. It's all one sort of disgusting Sodom and Gamora over there. And Rachel's episode again, episode 545, super interesting, she went undercover as a prostitute to uncover wildlife trafficking, so go ahead and get in on that.
[01:20:14] Also, in the show notes, we'll include the URL, the website that you can send when you get a scam text and you think that person might be forced into the scam work. You can simply ask them. Sometimes, they'll tell you the truth and you can send them to this organization and hopefully, something can be done. This is a matter of international pressure and exposure, and that's all we can really do here.
[01:20:32] Big thank you to Nathan and Lindsey. Again, all links to their work will be in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com. You can also search any show, any answer we've ever given on this show. jordanharbinger.com/ai is our AI chatbot. Transcripts in the show notes, videos on YouTube. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram. You can connect with me on LinkedIn and hey, advertisers deals, discounts all the ways to support the show at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Please consider supporting those who support the show.
[01:21:00] Yes, I'm teaching you how to connect with other people using the same software, systems, and tiny habits that I use to manage all my relationships, manage my network of folks. Dig the well before you get thirsty, folks. Make those relationships before you need them, jordanharbinger.com/course. Many of the guests on the show subscribe and contribute to that course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company.
[01:21:18] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's interested in scams, human trafficking, organized crime, definitely share this episode with them. The greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
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