24 East African human trafficking victims have been rescued from cartels in Laos as more feared to be trapped in Myanmar continue to seek help.
Out of the twenty-four rescued, twenty-two are Kenyan citizens while one is from Uganda and the other from Burundi.
Through a statement issued to newsrooms on Friday, September 23, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that one Ugandan and a Burundian were also rescued in the process.
Moreover, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that a joint effort between the Kenyan, Laos and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) led to retrieving of the 24 East Africans who are now under the care of different State agencies.
“The government in liaison with the Government of Laos and IOM has rescued 22 Kenyans, a Ugandan and a Burundian from trafficking cartels in Laos. It is now emerging that there could be hundreds of mostly young Kenyans working in ‘fraud factories’ in Southeast Asia,” stated the ministry.
“The 24 East Africans (22 Kenyans, 1 Burundian and 1 Ugandan) have since returned home with the help of HAART Kenya and the IOM Lao PDR.” The ministry added.
Likewise, the government suspects that some of the factories where the people were rescued could be facilities for extracting and storing human organs. The ministry also noted that the illegal business of human trafficking is also spread across the continent with cartels enticing young people under the guise of well-paying jobs.
“The human trafficking menace once considered an endemic problem in ASEAN is now going global. The cartels are now venturing into other parts of the world, particularly Africa and South Asia, luring a new breed of victims,” added the ministry.
In addition, the ministry of foreign affairs explained that the youth are the most preferred due to their ability to conduct crimes as well as their output in terms of productivity.
“The Kenyans, like hundreds of other foreigners from the region, South Asia and Africa, are lured by irresistible adverts promising lucrative perks and easy workloads. Once ‘work’ commences, those who fail to meet the performance targets are tortured, whipped, or locked up in dark rooms alone for days on without food,” stated the ministry.
The ministry further reports that lazy or sick individuals are sold to third parties or kicked out without any money or passports.
Nevertheless, citizens have been warned against falling prey to such individuals who entice them with promises of huge salaries in South Asia countries without authenticating the credibility of jobs.
“The government once again, warns Kenyans to stop applying for online jobs that are advertised in Southeast Asia without authenticating them, as this exposes them to dangers including the possibility of losing body organs,” the ministry noted.