Philippine authorities have arrested more than 300 foreigners mostly from mainland China and Taiwan for alleged involvement in Internet and financial fraud by Chinese criminal syndicates.
The alleged criminal syndicate employs Chinese call center agents who call unsuspecting victims about their bank accounts being used for money laundering.
The syndicate rented private homes in upscale villages in Metro Manila for their nefarious cyber crime operations.
Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Deputy Director for Operations Police Keith Singian said the modus operandi of the group is similar to another group comprising 37 Chinese nationals arrested by CIDG in May last year.
"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," he said.
"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," he added.
"The CIDG said an earlier crackdown on such operations by Chinese authorities in 2010 forced many groups in the racket to shift their operations outside China - including the Philippines," GMA News writes.
Inquirer.net writes, "The raiding team also confiscated various telecommunications gadgets and equipment which the syndicate purportedly used in their illegal activities."
According to Chief Supt. Reginald Villasanta of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), the suspects were charged with violation of the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998
“This is undoubtedly one of the largest anti-fraud stings in the Philippines in recent years,” Villasanta said.
The syndicate reportedly makes at least P20 million per day from the illegal operations.