Human trafficking of Taiwanese victims became a significant political issue in Taiwan in August. Although according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more than 222 cases of Taiwanese having their freedom restricted were reported to Taiwan’s representative office in Ho Chi Minh City between June 21 and August 10, there was only increased discussion of the issue after Taiwanese politicians and media began to zoom in on the issue. News of the trafficking cases takes place after increased international scrutiny on the issue of human trafficking in Cambodia, with victims including Taiwanese, Chinese, Malaysians, Thai, Vietnamese, and others.
It is generally thought that Taiwanese victims are made to work in telecom fraud rings, after having been lured to Cambodia with promises of high-paying jobs in which lodging, accommodations, and meals would be provided. Many are young people, with some news reports emphasizing that this included the well-educated. Jobs advertised included typist positions that reportedly promised up to 100,000 New Taiwan dollars ($3,270) per month, or computer engineering jobs.
At the same time, some reports suggest that some of the kidnapped Taiwanese were made to work for Chinese-speaking clientele in casinos in Sihanoukville, where there have long been concerns about growing Chinese criminal activity, and some rare cases of sexual trafficking.