Masum Billah, Bangladesh Correspondent of International News Services, has won the prestigious “Brac Migration Media Award” for his story, entitled “Sold in Cambodia: How Bangladeshis are lured into slavery.”

Published in the Dhaka-based newspaper, The Business Standard, Mr Billah’s story clinched the second prize in the “National Newspaper” category, at the eighth annual award ceremony of BRAC, one of the largest NGOs in the world. BRAC introduced the “BRAC Migration Media Award” in 2015 to formally recognise migration journalism.

Mr Billah’s story revealed the experience of several Bangladeshi migrant workers who were conned by Bangladeshi agents in Phnom Penh,  who promised them inexistent lucrative data entry office jobs in the Southeast Asian country of Cambodia. Instead, once in Cambodia, the migrant workers were sold to a third-party cyber fraud racket, which seized their passports and forced them to carry out online scams. As part of the swindles, they had to create fake social media profiles and lure others into making online investments. They were threatened with physical violence and paid only when they successfully lured in new investors.

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