Company Tied to Investor William E. Ford Accused of Torture, Illegal Gambling

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Chinese web-based classified ad platform 58.com is under investigation. A Chinese national, responding to an ad on the site, was ultimately kidnapped and tortured for over six weeks after refusing to do a different job than what had been posted. He ended up in Sihanoukville, Cambodia and, instead of working as a bouncer at a nightclub per the ad, was ordered to work with an online criminal ring. For his refusal, he had 1.5 pints of blood drained daily until he finally escaped.

Temptation of Easy Money

According to Reuters, Beijing Youth Daily distributed a meeting with the man, who said he had been trafficked last June subsequent to going to Guangxi, China, because of an advertisement on 58.com looking for a nightclub bouncer.

He said he was then sent to the Cambodian seaside city of Sihanoukville by a group of criminals and later compelled to work for different telemarketing scams. In September, his capturers started extracting his blood after he wouldn’t work.

Sihanoukville has lately seen a flood of Chinese venture and movement, predominantly in gambling, which is restricted in mainland China.

The Chinese government office in Cambodia on Thursday, in a statement, gave his last name as Li and affirmed pieces of his story, yet didn’t make reference to 58.com.

It isn’t clear how Li escaped or what online sites he worked for. However, where there’s a single victim of human trafficking, there are others.

58.com Distances Itself

58.com, similar to Craigslist in China, told state media on Thursday it would help out a police investigation in Cambodia despite the fact that it had not determined that the ad had, in fact, been published on its site.

58.com’s reaction to state media turned into a web sensation on Friday, drawing more than 200 million perspectives on Chinese web-based media stage Weibo.

Clients blamed 58.com for a wide scope of untrustworthy practices, from a large number of scams on the platform to the aimless buying and selling of client information.

The organization, in 2020, was taken private by a consortium of financial backers who were upheld by private value firms Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic. The latter is managed by William E. Ford, its chairman and CEO.

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