They Thought Their Human Trafficking Nightmare Was Over. Then Came the Police.

Freed from scam gangs in Cambodia, victims say they are now being detained and extorted by police demanding bribes for bedding, food and to return home.

Sid thought his nightmare was finally over when, in early September, Cambodian police showed up at the compound where he’d been held captive and forced to work since May. Several officers showed the company that recruited him a complaint letter they had received, asked him and a few others to pack up, and led them out.

He breathed a sigh of relief as he set foot outside the high walls that surrounded the complex, lined with barbed wire and CCTV cameras to prevent escapes. For the first time in three months, he no longer feared for his life, free from the gang that controlled his every move and forced him into running romance and cryptocurrency scams.

“I was so happy when they came to the rescue. I thought I was redeemed,” Sid told VICE World News. But his relief didn’t last long.

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