Taiwan Fully Mobilizes Against Scam Syndicates, prompted by GASO

Updated: Aug 26

In the past 2 weeks, human trafficking (HT) and scams made headlining news in Taiwan as GASO exposed the trafficking of Taiwanese to online scams companies in Cambodia and Myanmar. In the first week of August a GASO member alerted Taiwanese police of a potential HT victim heading to the airport to go to Cambodia, and the police immediately went to the airport to intercept the victim. Taiwanese authorities then posted airport police with big signs warning about job scams in Cambodia to dissuade potential HT victims from continuing with their flights.


This coincided with Taiwan anti-scam YouTuber Bump releasing viral video on the rescue he did with GASO in Cambodia, as detailed by GASO here. The next few days Sammy and Xiangri Lu of GASO, as well as some HT victims rescued by GASO or escaped on their own, were interviewed in many Taiwanese news outlets about the criminal syndicates luring young jobless Taiwanese into horrific barbed wire-fenced compounds in Cambodia to do online scams. (See links in the end.)


Lu Xiangri:

Press conference with the rape victim rescued by GASO (see post Sex Slaves for Scam Companies):


Taiwanese authorities quickly realized the scale of the problem, because

... based on flight records, revealing that about 1,000 Taiwanese travelled to Cambodia per month for much of this year but on average only 100 returned home. Based on that, police and politicians say at least 2,000 Taiwanese are still stranded in Cambodia against their will, but this number could be as high as 5,000 because of blind spots in the data.

https://focustaiwan.tw/society/202208080026 (in English)


The type of people being trafficked is also starkly different from the common stereotype of poor, young villagers being sold into sexual slavery or press-ganged onto a fishing trawler, with little or no redress or a support network back home.
These trafficked people are young – some are kids – but they are also generally smart, educated, tech-savvy, and come from the aspiring middle classes. They have family and friends who miss them and have the ways and means of complaining and being heard by the authorities in their home countries.


Meanwhile, Taiwanese authorities cracked down on human trafficking rings inside Taiwan who were the accomplices of the criminal syndicates, making up to 67 arrests, mostly from the Bamboo triad. The trafficking of Taiwanese have become hot button issue for the 2 major political parties in Taiwan; legislators from both DPP and KMT went to Cambodia also to rescue Taiwanese citizens. KMT calls for aid for trafficking victims.

In a separate operation last week, the Criminal Investigations Bureau (CIB) in Taiwan was able to arrest in Kaohsiung, Taiwan 15 members of an international fraud syndicate, based on information and evidences submitted by GASO. See: https://udn.com/news/story/7320/6546587 (Mandarin)

CIB thanking GASO for information leading to arrest of a fraud gang in Taiwan

GASO further made waves in a (now-deleted) viral Facebook post by the CEO of GASO of the thankless work GASO does in anti-scam and anti-HT. In it she lamented that rescued HT victims simply disappear after being repatriated back to their home countries and no longer respond (for media queries, public awareness or with information on their scam companies). Some were even discovered to go back into scamming. See more in: GASO stops rescuing Malaysian victims duped to work in Cambodia - News | MySinchew 星洲网 Sin Chew Daily Malaysia Latest News and Headlines. This attracted some criticism that GASO was trying to enrich itself, but also praise from the public and acknowledgement by Taiwan authorities, including a letter of appreciation to GASO from the Taipei City Government Police Department.

Note: GASO is entirely self-funded and run by volunteers outside their full-time jobs, and most being scam or HT victims themselves.

Sammy in another show explaining why only few GASO members come public:


Some of the initial news appearances in the first week:

1.東森 ✅





















YouTube playlist:

Unicorn Galaxy - YouTube


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