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BI arrests 4 suspects behind proliferation of illegal PH docs

BI arrests 4 suspects behind proliferation of illegal PH docs

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday announced that four Chinese suspected to be behind the proliferation of fraudulently-acquired government-issued IDs and documents were arrested in Palawan, including the alleged leader.

In a statement, the BI said that authorities arrested Wang Tao, Li Xiaoming, Guo Zhi Yang, and Lyu Zhiyang in Barangay San Pedro on March 19.

According to the agency, Lyu was allegedly the head of a local syndicate that provides illegally-obtained government-issued documents to undesirable aliens and trafficking victims.

The BI said that several Philippine-issued IDs were found and seized from the Chinese during the operation.

“The arresting team of the operation have been working on the case for several months and have kept close coordination with intelligence forces and law enforcement agents to ensure the smooth arrest of the subjects,” BI intelligence division chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. said.

For his part, Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the suspects who were arrested were considered to be big fish.

In 2023, the BI reported at least 10 cases of arrested fake Filipinos who presented authentic Philippine documents.

Meanwhile, the four Chinese have been transferred to the BI’s facility in Bicutan, Taguig. They will face charges for misrepresentation and undesirability in violation of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940.

Tansingco also called on local government units to report foreign nationals who conduct illegal activities to the BI.

“These foreign nationals use Philippine documents to avoid inspection, buy property, or even interfere in politics. The arrest of Lyu and his gang will definitely hurt the operations of these entities, and hopefully put a stop to the proliferation of fraudulently-acquired documents,” he said. — Joahna Lei Casilao/RSJ, GMA Integrated News