Immigration deports 73 Chinese telecom fraudsters

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has deported on Monday night the 73 Chinese nationals who were arrested more than a month ago in Ilocos and Metro Manila for their involvement in telecom fraud.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the deportees boarded a chartered flight of the China Eastern Airlines to Tianjin, China from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

He noted the foreigners were expelled pursuant to a summary deportation order that the BI Board of Commissioners issued against them for being undesirable aliens as all of them are fugitives who are wanted for economic crimes by Chinese authorities.

“They are also undocumented aliens because the Chinese government already cancelled their passports,” Morente said in a statement.

He added that the aliens were also blacklisted as “their continued presence here poses a risk to public interest.”

The deportees were among the more than a hundred Chinese and Taiwanese nationals arrested in raids by joint operatives of the BI and the PNP anti-cybercrime group in San Vicente, Ilocos Sur and Las Piñas City last January 13.

Seized from them during the raids were several improvised soundproof telephone cubicles, laptops, cellphones, computers, internet routers, and other devices, including a list of their victims.

The BI chief added that the mass deportation also aimed to declog the bureau’s backlog of deportation cases and hasten the implementation of deportation orders.

On the other hand, Arvin Cesar Santos, BI legal division chief, said the Chinese police sought the arrest of the suspects after they monitored some 100 internet protocol addresses in China coming from the Philippines.

The telecom fraudsters allegedly pretended to be police officers, prosecutors and judges when calling their victims in China, many of whom are rich businessmen.

“The victims were told that they had cases involving their phone numbers or bank accounts that needed to be investigated after which they would demand payment by asking that the money be transferred to the syndicate’s account,” Santos explained.

BI investigators found that the foreigners entered the Philippines using a tourist visa and did not apply for any work permits. PNA