The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Tuesday said it has arrested 15 tourist visa-bearing Chinese nationals allegedly involved in illegal online gambling operations in Pampanga and Manila.
Operatives of the bureau's cybercrime division arrested Yu Shize, Lin Hai Yang, Li Jun Qing, Yu Wen Quian, Xiao Wen Lao, Cai Shui Rong, Lin Jingming, Ju Shi Lin, Qiu Zai Wei and Xiao Jian Ze in Angeles City on November 23, the NBI said.
Individuals identified as Pan Jianbei, Pan Taiyuan, Jie Lu, Shengbo Zhang and Jian Lou Zhou were apprehended in Malate, Manila the day before, the bureau reported.
The supposed operation in Pampanga was discovered through a complaint alleging illegal online gambling activity at an Angeles City subdivision.
Implementing a court-issued search warrant, the agents purportedly saw 10 "Chinese-looking" nationals on desktop computers displaying "fictitious" instant messaging accounts, "Jack and Poy" online consoles, gambling websites, and pornography.
Seized from the house were 13 desktop computers, 25 smartphones, 24 prepaid SIM cards, one router, one wi-fi connector, and one "brush machine."
Digital laboratory forensic agents, through onsite forensic procedures, were able to confirm the illegal online gambling operations in the residence, the NBI said.
The alleged operation in Manila also stemmed from a complaint. Operatives searched three units at the Alpha Grandview Condominium and found items including mobile wi-fi, router, passport copies, one-time passport devices, smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers.
"Data extracted from computers showed the mechanics of gambling activities, browsing and log-in to the financial and web-payment facilities as well as browsing of betting websites," the NBI said.
The arrested foreigners face charges for violation of the Anti-Illegal Gambling Act in relation to the Cybercrime Prevention Act. Those nabbed in Pampanga are also accused of violating the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998 in relation to the anti-cybercrime law. — MDM, GMA News