Cyber Crime Sting Sees 357 Arrested In Philippines
Chinese and Taiwanese nationals arrested in major crackdown
A major cyber crime crackdown in the Philippines has led to the arrest of 357 people, all of whom were foreign nationals.
The Philippines has become a home for many cyber criminals from China and nearby nations such as Taiwan. It is believed crooks moved to the Western Pacific nation after police in China started cracking down on domestic cyber crime in 2010.
But the country’s biggest operation against Internet-based crime may act as a significant deterrent. Criminal Investigation and Detection Group deputy director for operations, Police Senior Superintendent Keith Singian, said those arrested were suspected of carrying out international telecom and financial fraud.
“By using the internet, the group will call an unsuspecting victim in China to introduce themselves as members of Chinese police. The suspects would then tell the victims that their bank accounts were being used for money laundering and other terrorist funding activities,” Philippines authorities explained.
“The syndicate will then tell the victim to transfer their money to a “safe account” that the suspects will provide, to which most of the victims have agreed out of fear from any action “police authorities” will do if they refuse to comply.”
Police swooped in on 20 residential areas at 6.30am yesterday across the Philippines. Two of those arrested were believed to be the financiers of the massive operation. They were identified as Maria Luisa Tan and Jonson Tan Co.
Suspects were not taken to the police station, but to the Police National Training Institute (PNTI) in Camp Vicente Lim, Laguna, due to the significant number of those arrested.
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