Pig Butchering: Recent arrests and the role of the “dog pusher”

Tara Annison
3 min readNov 10, 2023


Pig butchering, or financial grooming as it’s started to be referred to, is still catching the headlines but this time for a good reason. Earlier this month two criminal rings were disrupted and the scammers have been arrested.

Police in Namibia recently announced the arrest of 20 individuals who were running an organised crime ring targeting US citizens.

The group is reported to have recruited 80 young Namibians and promised them a salary of $160 per month, and so far over 200 victims have been identified.

As I detailed in my previous piece, these scam centres are run as a business with strict working practices and workers who are often the victims of human trafficking or modern day slavery themselves. https://tara-annison.medium.com/pig-butchering-and-scam-centres-the-crime-behind-the-crime-8fcd40407163

The inspector general detailed the working practices for the recruits within this scam:

“The suspected foreign nationals equally controlled the electronic wallet. They also provided the students with accommodation, paid them in cash, and transported them to and from the call centre, where they worked exclusively at night from 17:00 PM until the next morning at 6:00 AM. This night operation aimed to convince the USA clients that they were indeed in the USA, given the hours of transactions.”

Seven people were arrested in Australia over their alleged involvement in a $228m pig butchering scam and the running of the Changjiang Currency Exchange which is reported to have laundered millions of dollars worth of illicitly gained crypto. The group was also found to have been running 12 retail shops across Australia which are thought to have been involved in the money laundering process too.

Details from the case so far reveal that the group appears to have taken over laundering activities after another group was infiltrated and shut down by law enforcement earlier in the year, and took on various ‘contracts’ including a $100m laundering job from a Chinese criminal network.

In other pig butchering related news, I recently read this informative piece on the “dog pusher” role within the scam


These people look for pig butchering targets and start to build the relationship before they hand over the victim to the ‘pig butcher’ who will execute the final part of the scam and take their money/crypto off them.

The piece details the Telegram channels where it’s possible to pay for images which help build up the fake profile’s “character” whether that’s city landscapes, expensive looking meals, office environments and nightlife vibes. These photos are taken by professional photographers (it’s unclear whether they know their photos will be used for this purpose) in order to ensure that they can’t be reverse image searched by the mark. I also expect we’ll see AI image generation tools being used for this type of activity too.

This piece further illustrates the organised nature of romance scams and why it’s so hard for victims to identify that they are being scammed. Their being spoken to from tried and tested scripts, sent curated images intended to fool them into thinking the person is real, and having their emotions toyed with in a highly orchestrated plot.

To understand more about pig butchering and to report this type of awful activity, head to https://www.globalantiscam.org/