A Chinese man found himself held hostage and used as a “blood slave” in another country and for months on end after he had responded to a fake job advertisement in China.
How it started
reported that the victim was a 31-year-old man named Li Ya Ming.
Li was working as a security guard when he saw a job advertisement on a recruitment website that was looking for security guards for a nightclub in Guangxi Zhuang, an autonomous region in Southern China.
Lured by the prospective of a higher remuneration, he responded to the advertisement and made arrangements to travel to Guangxi Zhuang for an interview, Li recounted to .
Once there, he met with two Chinese male staff who claimed they were from the nightclub, and boarded a vehicle after the two men told him they were bringing him to their branch in the city of Pingxiang.
Little did Li know that he would soon be held at gunpoint and coerced to cross the border into Vietnam.
Sold to another company
Across the border, he was plied with drinks laced with drugs which made him unconscious, Li said to Beijing Youth Daily.
When he finally regained his consciousness, Li found himself in a different environment—an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City—and that his captors had changed to four men.
Li spent the next three days or so days being transported over land and sea from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam to Sihanoukville, Cambodia. He recalled that the entire process from China to Cambodia took less than a week.
At Sihanoukville, Li learnt that he has been sold to an online scam operation company, where he was tasked to call Chinese nationals and scam them through the phone.
The victim had arrived in around August to September 2021.
Li said he would receive beatings on a daily basis as he refused to participate in any of the scam’s operations.
He was then abused by his captors, who hit him with electric prods and iron rods.
Became a blood slave because had no other “value”
After about a week of Li refusing to comply, his captors switched tactics and attempted to extort ransom from his family members.
However, this plan was scrapped quickly once they realised that Li was an orphan.
To his captors, Li told Beijing Youth Daily he had no “value” and was “worthless” to his captors as he would not work for them, nor could he fetch a ransom.
This was before they decided to use Li as a blood slave, and transferred him to another facility.
Li said he spent most of his waking hours during the day in a dark and cramped makeshift cubicle that was constructed out of a meeting room.
There were a total of seven cubicles where there were at least seven other blood slaves, all whom were Chinese men who were scammed.
Blood drawn seven times
The other men did not have their blood drawn as many times, unlike Li, whose blood type was type O, the universal blood type.
A 40-something-year-old male Chinese “doctor” extracted Li’s blood, and he recalled that the man remarked that his blood type was “quite valuable” during one of these incidents.
This was the only time that the man spoke to Li, who had his blood drawn a total of seven times over about six months.
Li told Beijing Youth Daily that the blood drawn each time was enough to fill a 350ml bottle, at the frequency of every one and a half months or so.
On the other hand, SCMP reported 800ml of blood drawn every month, quoting from Cambodia-based newspaper Asia Pacific Times.
Li’s body started swelling by the fifth or sixth blood draw, at which point so much blood had been harvested from him that he had to be supplemented with glucose and albumin to keep him alive.
His arms were also covered with bruises and marks from the needles used to extract blood.
Li was so swollen that the doctor had to resort to extracting blood from the area above his eyebrows, which yielded half a bottle’s worth of blood.
Li’s narrow escape
On Feb. 2, 2022, Li said a good samaritan from the online scam operation rescued him from the premises before depositing him at a hospital in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
However, Li did not have any money and could not make the hospital deposit. He went to a public hospital, where he spent a night and booked his transport to Phnom Penh through an online travel agency.
Through a stroke of luck, the owner of the travel agency was also a Chinese, who boarded Li in a hotel after he learnt of Li’s ordeal.
He was finally admitted to the hospital on Feb. 12, where he was on the brink of death and diagnosed with multiple organ failures, according to SCMP.
At that point in time, Li said he could not move his still swollen body, feel his right leg, and even speaking took a toll on him. His blood was also extremely diluted.
He is in stable condition, and slowly regaining his facilities, and is currently undergoing medical treatment.
Li said he has since lost all feeling in his right leg, as a result of the abuse he endured.
Narrowly avoided having his organs sold
Li told Beijing Youth Daily that his organs would have been sold if he did not manage to escape.
Li was merely regarded as a tool for making money, and since he was not able to produce blood any longer, Li said that harvesting his organs would be his captor’s next move to milk and extract “value” from him.
SCMP reported that incidents like Li, where Chinese men have fallen prey and used as blood slaves, is not uncommon in Cambodia.
The Chinese embassy in Cambodia warned Chinese nationals to not fall for similar fake job advertisements in Cambodia through a statement on Feb. 12, which also urged Cambodian authorities to prioritise Li’s case and hasten their investigations.
The embassy also sent staff to visit Li in hospital earlier on Feb. 15, according to the statement.
Follow and listen to our podcast here
Top image from Beijing Youth Daily website and screenshot from YouTube video