PNP arrests 357 foreign nationals in anti-cybercrime blitz
Government operatives on Thursday arrested 357 foreign nationals, most of them mainland Chinese and Taiwanese, in a series of raids on cybercrime rings in several areas in Metro Manila.
The Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission raided at least 20 houses in Manila, Marikina, Antipolo and Quezon Cities and in Cainta town in Rizal.
One of the Taiwanese was injured while trying to escape arrest by jumping off a second-story window, according to a report on dzBB radio.
The ring allegedly defrauded victims of as much as P20 million a day, the report quoted the authorities as saying.
A news release by the CIDG said Thursday's operation was by far the "biggest and most resolute" operation carried out in the history of anti-cybercrime drive.
CIDG head Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. said operatives led by Senior Superintendent Ranier Idio raided 20 houses in subdivisions in Metro Manila and Rizal provinces.
Also arrested were two Filipino Chinese earlier tagged as the financiers of the syndicate. They were identified as Maria Luisa Tan and Jonson Tan Co.
The suspects were brought to the Police National Training Institute (PNTI) in Camp Vicente Lim in Laguna. They face charges for violating the Access Device Act.
CIDG Deputy Director for Operations Senior Superintendent Keith Singian said the suspects were engaged in international telecom and financial fraud.
Investigation showed the suspects would make Internet calls to victims in China, introducing themselves as the Chinese police.
The suspects would claim the victims' bank accounts were found being used for money laundering and other terrorist funding activities.
After being intimidated, the victims were then instructed to transfer their money to a "safe account" provided by the suspects.
Moved to China
The CIDG said an earlier crackdown on such operations by Chinese authorities in 2010 forced many groups in the racket to shift their operations outside China - including the Philippines. — TJD, GMA News
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