ZAMBOANGA CITY: Security forces on Saturday arrested 153 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals accused of being involved in a telecommunication fraud racket.
The Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) and the Bureau of Immigration made the arrests during raids in the capital Manila and the northern province of Ilocos Sur.
The Chinese police sought the assistance of Philippine authorities last November when they monitored internet protocol addresses in China coming from the Philippines, said PNP-ACG spokesperson Senior Inspector Artemio Cinco Jr. as quoted by ABS-CBN News.
The suspects allegedly posed as police officers, prosecutors and judges and contacted wealthy victims telling them that their phone numbers or bank accounts are under investigation.
The victims were asked to open a “safe account” where they were required to wire funds of up to $1.2 million to which they later found out that they have no access to.
According to Chinese authorities around 100 businessmen are victimized by the fraudsters daily.
Nine cellular phones, five laptops, three tablets, a printer, five router modems, 20 voice-over internet protocol devices, 30 landline phones and four cameras were recovered from the facilities, apart from the several improvised soundproof telephone cubicles.
During a raid, the suspects were also able to partially burn an alleged list of victims based in China.
Immigration officials clarified that the suspects are holders of Philippine tourist visas and have no permit to work in the country.