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MANILA - Police authorities from China and the Philippines arrested 37 members of a transnational telecom fraud syndicate in recent joint operatives in Para Aque City in Metro Manila, local police announced Monday.
Samuel D Pagdilao Jr., chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of Philippine National Police released the above-mentioned information and publicize the identities of the 37 suspects in a statement on Monday.
Aside from the suspects, the police also seized assorted telecommunication and information technology equipment that the syndicate used in their operations, the statement said.
According to Pagdilao, last Saturday, Chinese and Philippine police raided two separate residences in Para Aque where the 37 Chinese were arrested.
Of the arrested suspects, 21 are from Taiwan while the rest are from Chinese mainland, he added.
Pagdilao said the arrested suspects have been doing telecom and financial fraud in China since 2007. Following the crackdown on the group by the Chinese authorities in 2010, the group moved their operations outside of China and continued their operations of victimizing Chinese through internet.
Via the internet, the group usually called an unsuspecting victim in China to introduce themselves as policemen. Then, the suspects would tell the victims that their bank accounts were being used for money laundering and other terrorist funding activities. The syndicate would then tell the victim to transfer their money to a "safe account" that the suspects would provide, to which many victims have agreed out of fear and anxiety.
Chinese authorities later tracked the base of operations of the syndicate in the Philippines after they traced the Internet Protocol (IP) address used by the suspects, the statement said.
Wang Ben, police liaison officer from Chinese embassy in Philippines, told Xinhua that by Philippine legal procedures, the suspects will be prosecuted by Philippine procuratorial organ first.