LAW enforcement agents working in coordination with the China police late night Wednesday raided an office in Parañaque City where they arrested 523 foreigners including 424 Chinese nationals accused of involvement in a telecommunication scam, National Capital Region Police Office director, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, said yesterday.
Joined by officers from the Bureau of Immigration and the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philipñines, members of the NCRPO Regional Special Operations Unit made the arrests inside the Golden Unicom Technology, Inc. office located at the 7th floor of the Millenium Building at 10 NAIA Road in Parañaque City at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, said the official.
“The initial findings of the Bureau of Immigration is that those foreigners have no working permits,” Eleazar said. Apart from the 424 Chinese nationals, also apprehended were 25 Malaysians, three Indonesians, four Taiwanese and 45 citizens of Myanmar.
Eleazar said that the China police provided them with information that the foreigners were engaged in an offshore telecommunications investment fraud which lure unsuspecting victims, mostly from China to invest in fraudulent business ventures.
“This operation is a statement of a symbiotic relationship among Philippine law enforcement agencies and our foreign counterparts which is indispensable to ensure that the rule of law prevails in all circumstances,” said the Metro Manila police director.
Eleazar said they have found out that the mayor’s permit issued to the company is supposedly for ‘support services’ or in the nature of a business processing office.
However, they discovered that the company hired the services of the foreigners to call their targets in China and other parts of Asia.
The foreigners were taken to the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City for temporary detention while the BI is preparing to subject them to deportation proceedings.
The Parañaque City government said it is planning to shut down the company for misdeclaring the nature of their business when they applied for a mayor’s permit.
Last September, immigration agents also arrested 277 Chinese in a raid against an Ortigas Center-based online investment scam syndicate that defrauded hundreds if not thousands of people.
The Chinese government canceled the passports of the arrested Chinese nationals making them subject of deportation proceedings since they are already considered as illegal workers.
In October last year, agents of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group, acting on a tip from the Chinese police also raided a telecom fraud ring in Ilocos Sur and arrested 25 foreign nationals.
The arrested foreign nationals from Taiwan and China are suspected of posing as judges, prosecutors, and bank staffers to trick an average 100 victims a day in China into transferring money to designated accounts.
Officials said the ‘brains’ behind the fraudulent telecommunication schememay be part of a larger international criminal syndicate, whose members “rotate” across different countries to commit crimes.
Just like in Wednesday’s raid, recovered were computers and communication equipment including improvised soundproof cubicles.