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Philippines arrests hundreds for investment fraud

Police act on complaints of Australians and South Africans who had been cheated of millions of dollars

Philippines arrests hundreds for investment fraud


By Maecy Alviar


Around 480 Filipino call center agents and eight Israelis have been arrested over a multimillion-dollar online investment scam, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Thursday.

Acting on complaints from Australians and South Africans who had been victimized of millions of dollars, the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) and the Special Action Force raided three buildings in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga province being used as the company’s offices.

The alleged fraud had amassed millions of dollars up until the raid, the PNP estimated. 

ACG director Chief Superintendent Marni Marcos Jr. said the company was allegedly involved in a fictitious stock trading business which held a portfolio of stocks that kept rising.

“They showed their victims that they will invest in this because you saw it -- the graph is going up, and you are going to earn money,” Marcos said at a press conference Thursday as quoted by Rappler, a Philippine-based online news portal.

“They are projecting themselves as a stock company operating in London, but actually this is in the Philippines,” he added.

The police probe will include checking into negligence committed by the management of the government-operated economic zone where the company has been operating for more than two years.

“That's very questionable how they were able to establish this big call center with this number of employees,” PNP chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said.

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