By Jeffrey Damicog
Thirty-one foreigners allegedly involved in identity thefts through bogus online gambling websites have been arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
NBI spokesperson Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin said the 31 foreigners are all Chinese nationals. They were arrested during a raid Wednesday night at a house inside in Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City.
The NBI’s Rizal District Office (NBI-RIZDO) conducted the raid after having secured a search warrant from the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 203.
Operatives also seized during the raid computer units, cellular phones, and other computer devices.
The 31 suspects underwent inquest proceedings Thursday, July 26, before the Muntinlupa City Prosecutor’s Office over charges of violating Republic Act 10175 (the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012), and RA 8484 (Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998).
Lavin explained the suspects have been found engaged in phishing activities.
“These men maintain a betting website so that they can lure gamblers or bettors to go into a computer system. And once the details are given to the computer system, then they are able to steal your information and get money from your account using the stolen information,” he explained.
During the raid, Lavin said the suspects failed to present any permit or license.
Lavin said the raid was conducted following a complaint made by the Village’s Security, Safety and Health Management Group (SSHMG) about the activities of the group.
Acting on the information, NBI-RIZDO operatives conducted surveillance operations which positively confirmed the illegal activities.
Barangay Ayala Alabang, together with the homeowner association, will be organizing a sit down with fellow residents next month to address the issue of some houses inside the village being used as “staff houses” for mostly foreigner clientele.
The house raided was a perfect example of these so-called “staff houses” being used by other people for illegal activities.
Here is a video of the news report from TV5:
Or watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMKqo_Vizjc&feature=youtu.be
Villagers have been clamoring for stricter rules when it comes to renting houses inside the Muntinlupa village.
Let’s see what will be resolved during the public hearing regarding the matter.