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Students returned after illegally entering Myanmar

By ZHU LIXIN in Hefei | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-22 09:34

A number of vocational school students from Anhui province who were tempted into entering Myanmar illegally to work have been returned to China.

In February, four students from Hefei Industry and Trade Senior Technical School based in the city's Xinzhan High-tech Industrial Zone set upon the idea of striking it rich working overseas.

On March 6 they noticed recruitment information online and contacted an intermediary agent at Xishuangbanna Dai autonomous prefecture in Yunnan province two days later.

One of the students was rejected by the agent because he was only 16 years old and too young to work.

The other three students, two 18 and one 17, entered Myanmar illegally for work, according to media outlet thecover.cn.

During their stay, the students tried to get jobs at a telecom fraud outfit but were refused.

They had been in Myanmar for about 10 days when the local police found them on Monday at the request of authorities in China, according to media reports.

The Hefei Xinzhan High-tech Industrial Zone administration said in a statement on Monday night that all of the four students are safe.

Multiple colleges and vocational schools in Hefei have reminded their students to not be tempted by the false impression of quick riches in Myanmar.

The parents of another four students told thecover.cn on Monday that they had also lost contact with their children after their arrival in Myanmar. The report did not say where the students were from.

The students, aged between 17 and 19, left home on March 13 and 14, saying they were traveling and looking for work.

Two of them contacted their parents for money on March 16 and 17, while another told his family he could not take any calls during work on March 17. After that, none of them could be reached, according to the report.

A student surnamed Deng kept updating his location to his friend, and the WeChat conversation shows he had arrived in Myanmar and said "I feel very much in danger here and will try to run away".

"If I don't contact you on Saturday, then call the police," Deng told his friend on WeChat on March 16.

It is not known whether Deng contacted his friend on that date.

The Ministry of Public Security has warned against people being lured overseas with the promise of good pay to enable criminal outfits to commit telecom fraud. Many people may be unaware of the dangers they face from kidnapping or being forced to work illegally.

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