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!
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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!
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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
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