Filtered By: Topstories

Authorities probe possible 'scam hub' condos

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) appealed to the owners of condominium buildings in the country to report any illegal activities of their foreign tenants, according to Emil Sumangil’s “24 Oras” report on Thursday.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco made the appeal after Senator Risa Hontiveros revealed that large condominium buildings in the Philippines are being used as "living and working" facilities for trafficked foreigners recruited to perform scams on unknowing victims.

Tansingco also warned them that those protectors may also be held liable.

He also said that the agency is conducting an investigation into reports that some residential buildings in the country are being used as hubs for human trafficking victims.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) said they are also investigating the “scam hubs.”

“Kailangan i-validate natin yung information, hindi ito madaling gawin, bakit? Kasi itong mga hubs na ito hindi naman ganun kadali silang pasukin. Because, first, nasa isang secured location sila. Marami siyang kailangan na validation at insider information,” PNP Anti Cybercrime Group spokesperson Police Captain Michelle Sabino said.

(We need to validate the information, it's not easy to do, why? We cannot enter these hubs easily. Because, first, they are in a secured location. It needs a lot of validation and insider information.)

Sabino said government agencies must work together to fight against human trafficking.

“Ganito kalawak na, hindi lang ACG, we require the help of each and every agency. Sa immigration, they should do their job, they should do their thing. I-monitor niyo. Kung masyado na marami ang pumapasok, this causes alarm,” she said.

(This is so broad, not just ACG, we require the help of each and every agency. The BI must do their job, they should do their thing. Monitor it. If too many people enter, this causes alarm.)

Meanwhile, Tansingco said he will recommend in the next Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) meeting that each government agency play a specific role in handling trafficking cases. —Richa Noriega/ VAL, GMA Integrated News

Tags: BI, scam hubs