Video Shows Thailand Attack In 2020, Not ‘Chinese Victim Of Myanmar Work Scam’

A video of a man being repeatedly kicked in the head has been viewed tens of thousands of times on Chinese social media posts claiming he was the victim of a job scam in Myanmar. The posts appeared online after officials in Hong Kong and Taiwan separately revealed new details of people lured to Southeast Asia in so-called “boiler room” scams. The video, however, has been shared in a false context. Parts of the video have been circulating in reports since at least December 2020 about a Thai company punishing an employee for alleged embezzlement. A senior Thai police officer leading the investigation told AFP the victim was a Thai national.

Warning: violent scenes

The video — which shows a man kicking another man in the head in front of a roomful of people — was posted on Twitter here on September 9, 2022.

It has been viewed more than 172,000 times.

The simplified-Chinese caption of the tweet translates into English as: “Chinese young man tricked into going to Northern Myanmar!

“The cheat is Chinese, the villain is Chinese, the cheated is Chinese, and those who watch [at the back] they are also Chinese!”.

A screenshot of the misleading post, taken on September 12, 2022

Online “boiler room” rackets have long had a presence across Southeast Asia, but in recent months more details have emerged of people being trafficked and forced to work, AFP reported.

Victims reported traveling to Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos with false promises of romance or high-paying jobs.

The same video was also shared along with a similar claim on Twitter here and here.

But the video was shared in a false context.

Attack on Thailand

A combination of reverse image and keyword searches on Google turned up a news report published by Thai news organization Channel 3 on December 3, 2020.

It is titled: “Man physically assaulted and passed out for 3 days after unable to collect money from customer.”

The report used parts of the video released in September 2022 with the false claim.

Here’s a screenshot comparing the video in the misleading posts (left) and the clip as used in the news report (right):

Screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading posts (left) and the clip as used in the news report (right)

Three seconds into the report, the news anchor says: “[Police] He eventually found the man who was physically assaulted by his boss for collecting an informal loan and not giving it to the employer.’

Thai news agency Naewna also reported on the same incident on December 3, 2020.

According to the report, police in central Thailand’s Nonthaburi province launched an investigation after the video circulated on social media.

Colonel of Police Witthaya Bowonsikharin, who led the investigation into the attack, told AFP that the man attacked in the video was a Thai national and police officers had already been charged in the case.

“The man who was physically assaulted collected loan money from a customer but did not give it back to the company, so the employer beat him,” he said.

AFP has previously debunked other posts falsely claiming to show videos related to Southeast Asian job scams here and here .

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