BI arrests 36 Japanese in telco scam

MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday reported the arrest of 36 Japanese nationals involved in telecommunications scam in a hotel in Makati City.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said they are only after Nobuki Oshita, 20, and Yusuke Kiya, 33, both have standing arrest warrants for theft in Japan but subsequently arrested 34 others.

They were arrested on Wednesday after the BI chief issued a mission order.

Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) head Bobby Raquepo said the other Japanese nationals who were caught engaged in voice phishing operations.

“Upon verification with the Japanese police, it was found out that all 36 are members of an organized crime group involved in telecom fraud and extortion,” he said in a statement.

The group has reportedly victimized at least 1,393 Japanese nationals, with an estimated cost of damages amounting to 2 billion yen.

Morente assured the public that they will continue to strengthen their partnership with foreign counterparts.

“The presence of these criminals in the country is a risk to public security. We will keep our strong ties with our partners until the last foreign fugitive is hunted, deported, and blacklisted,” he said.

The arrested foreigners are temporarily detained at the BI detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig City pending deportation proceedings.   Ferdinand Patinio / PNA –