Philippines arrests 44 from China, Taiwan in Internet fraud

Jul 10, 2014
A man uses an iPad 2 during its launch in the Philippines at an Apple store in Manila on April 29, 2011

Forty-two Taiwanese and two Chinese suspects have been arrested in the Philippines over a sophisticated Internet scam targeting compatriots back home, police said Thursday.

The suspects—who posed as , prosecutors, judges and anti-money laundering officials—cheated people from Taiwan and China out of their money by claiming they could safeguard their cash, a police statement said.

The scammers would allegedly convince their victims that their were being used for money-laundering and that their assets could be protected if they transferred all their money to accounts owned by the fraudsters, police added.

"The syndicates... usually go to the Philippines as tourists and rent houses in posh (housing projects)" where they set up their illegal operations, a police statement said.

The suspects were arrested in a series of raids in the central city of Iloilo on Wednesday by a anti-cybercrime unit and immigration bureau agents.

The were aided by an official of Taiwan's cultural office in Manila, it said.

The two Chinese suspects were "caught in the act of engaging with their would-be victims abroad," said Senior Inspector Joanna Fabro, adding that scammers often believed they were unlikely to be prosecuted in the Philippines.

But she said the authorities were now boosting their anti-cybercrime capabilities.

"Maybe they aren't afraid of our laws. But we have more teeth and we hope more of them will be apprehended soon," she said.

The suspects will eventually be deported to China and Taiwan respectively but the "digital evidence" of their crimes will be gathered by Philippine investigators to be used when they face trial at home, Fabro added.

Such scams involving people from Taiwan and China operating in the Philippines have become increasingly common in recent years.

"We can see an increasing trend in cybercrimes like this scam," warned Fabro.

Since 2012, the Philippines has deported hundreds of Taiwanese and Chinese for taking part in such rackets, usually targeting the elderly in Taiwan and China.

Explore further: Interpol, Philippines bust cyber extortion network

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

More than 800 arrested in fraud blitz: Taiwan

Sep 28, 2011

Taiwan police said Wednesday that a record 827 suspected fraudsters, including nearly 500 Chinese and over 300 Taiwanese nationals, have been arrested in an international crackdown on the crime.

Interpol, Philippines bust cyber extortion network

May 02, 2014

Philippine police, backed by Interpol, have arrested dozens of suspected members of an online extortion syndicate who duped hundreds of victims worldwide into exposing themselves in front of webcams or engaging ...

Malaysia police bust China Internet scam

Jun 10, 2011

Malaysian police have arrested 37 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals accused of running an Internet scam that tricked people into paying fake traffic fines, reports said Friday.

Recommended for you

What metadata does the government want about you?

Aug 28, 2014

With the leaking of a discussion paper on telecommunications data retention, we are at last starting to get some clarity as to just what metadata the Abbott government is likely to ask telecommunications ...

To deter cyberattacks, build a public-private partnership

Aug 25, 2014

Cyberattacks loom as an increasingly dire threat to privacy, national security and the global economy, and the best way to blunt their impact may be a public-private partnership between government and business, ...

User comments : 0