The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group has arrested eight Israelis and 474 Filipinos in Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga for allegedly defrauding victims in a multi-million dollar online stock trading scam.
The eight male Israelis and 232 male and 242 female Filipinos were nabbed in simultaneous operations on Tuesday morning in three departments of International Brandings Development Marketing, Inc. (IBD) in Clark Freeport Zone, where the suspected "boiler room" is operating.
PNP-ACG head Chief Superintendent Marni Marcos Jr. said the suspects are supposedly operating as a call center defrauding victims for around two and a half years.
"Their modus operandi is like a stock trading scam, meaning they invite investors through online. So again after that they will get details of your bank accounts, credit cards," Marcos said.
The Filipino suspects were caught while in the "act of communicating and doing online transactions with foreign 'clients' from Europe, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Russia," said PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde.
The operation stemmed from the complaints of Australian victims identified as Jan Theresa Bedggood, Robery Wayne Smith, Juningsih Welford and South African Barend Nichloaas Prinsloo who said they were victimized by the alleged online trading scam.
The suspects were able to reap $1 million USD each day from their foreign victims.
Seized during the operation were "several pieces of digital evidence used in the commission of cybercrime, mostly computers, identifications cards, and assorted documentary evidence where found to be reinforcing the allegations of online fraud engagement against IDB."
"Furthermore, during the search, the accounts of the complainants were extracted from the Quality Assurance and Customer Service in Building 1 strengthening the allegation imputed against IBD to be involved in a fraudulent online trading," Albayalde said.
The suspects will face charges for violation of Sections 4 (a)(5) and 5(a) of the Republic Act No. 10175 or the "Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012” and charges in relation to Article 315 (Syndicated Estafa) of the Revised Penal Code. — RSJ, GMA News