1,200 slaves freed from Myanmar pig-butchering compound

Authorities in Myanmar have raided a compound and freed more than 1,000 slave laborers being forced to work in a series of so-called ‘pig-butchering’ scams, one of which has raked in an estimated $100 million in the past two years.

The KK Park compound in east Myanmar was raided in a joint operation led by China, Thailand, and Myanmar earlier this week and 1,200 workers were reportedly freed. A flight chartered from China left Myanmar on Thursday afternoon with 150 of these victims on board, according to Deutsche Welle (DW),

Earlier this week, Protos reported how one of the pig-butchering operations based at the compound has made around $100 million in USDT in the past two years. Many of the scams’ workers were trafficked from China, Southeast Asia, and Africa and were forced to scam crypto from victims in Europe, the US, and China. 

Read more: UN report links crypto scams to Southeast Asia slave trade

DW interviewed the trafficked victims who claimed that weekly murders took place and that they were constantly surveilled and tortured. Victims reportedly ran these crypto scams for 17 hours a day with no rest and were told they would be sold or killed if they tried to leave. 

Around 1,000 of the freed slaves are Chinese nationals, while the other 200 were mostly trafficked from African countries. 

A photo of the KK Park Myanmar compound, taken by Stefan Czimmek and published by DW.

An anonymous source who negotiated the release of the victims told DW that Chinese nationals found to have traveled to the compound willingly “would be arrested, according to China’s current regulations.”  

In addition, the other 200 reportedly face being stuck in Thailand’s human trafficking identification system, or handing themselves over to the police for breaching Thailand’s immigration laws.

Tether, pig-butchering, and Myanmar slaves

This week, a study released by Texas finance professor John Griffith estimated that pig-butchering scams have made somewhere in the region of $75 billion. In the report, Griffith concluded that Binance, Huobi, and OKX work as exit points for these criminal funds and that USDT is the crypto of choice for criminals.

The United Nations (UN) also claims organized crime uses a ‘parallel banking system’ that relies on Tether and USDT. The UN estimated that over 100,000 victims are being trafficked to work in Myanmar scam centers linked to these pig-butchering scams. 

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