Chinese news group Angkor Times reported that Zhou, a 17-year-old from Huazhou, Guangdong, died unexpectedly in Sihanoukville on November 12, after working for an illegal cyber-fraud operation.
On November 24th, Zhou’s sister asked on Weibo for help, thinking that the company he was working for was using minors to engage in criminal activities.
Zhou was born in 2002 and has been home since he left high school. In July of this year, after hearing of high salaries for easy work, Zhou along with two other classmates, were introduced to the world of cyber-fraud.
Although his family said that they did not know beforehand, after arriving in Sihanoukville, Zhou rarely spoke about his work with them.
On the evening of November 11, Zhou and his family said that they had completed an order of 200,000 yuan (almost $28,500) and he would get a 70,000 commission (almost $10,000).
The youngster of 17 had easily earned a large sum of money, and did not sense any danger. But his father had an uneasy feeling. “Money comes too easy. Dad is worried about you.” He wrote.
Zhou’s family began to urge Zhou to return to China as soon as possible, but received news of Zhou’s death on November 13. The person who reported the news said Zhou died of lung problem because of staying up late and drinking over a long period of time.
This came just two days after Zhou was enthusiastically saying that he had received a large commission, and the bad news was not believed by his family. They tried to contact the other two students who went to Cambodia with him, but they suddenly seemed to have disappeared.
Zhou’s family claimed that Zhou was in good health before going to Sihanoukville, and said it was impossible for him to die suddenly because of staying up late for just three months. There are insisting that Zhou died abnormally.
The family said they had reported their concerns to the local police station in Cambodia.