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Metro

Bureau of Immigration to probe visas of 378 cybercrime suspects

- Rudy Santos - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is investigating how 378 Taiwanese and Chinese nationals, arrested last month for their alleged involvement in cybercrimes, were able to enter the country.

BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said he has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs and Manila Economic and Cultural Affairs Office for information on the suspects’ tourist visa applications filed with and approved by their offices.

“We want to know how the visa applications of these foreigners were processed by our consulates and if there is any mechanism employed to determine if these aliens will engage in any gainful or illegal activities in the Philippines,” he said.

He said the suspects were properly admitted as tourists with valid visas. David said they will look for any pattern in the arrivals of the aliens and if they were processed by the same group of immigration officers.

David also asked if the foreigners engaged the services of travel agents in applying for visas and if their applications were facilitated by a single travel agency.

Police said the suspects allegedly used the Internet to call and blackmail their victims in Taiwan and China by falsely informing them that their personal bank accounts were being investigated for links to money-laundering and terrorist activities.

The victims would then be told to deposit their money in a bank account provided by the syndicate.      

ACTIVITIES

AFFAIRS

APPLICATIONS

BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION

COMMISSIONER RICARDO DAVID JR.

DAVID

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND MANILA ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS OFFICE

SUSPECTS

TAIWAN AND CHINA

TAIWANESE AND CHINESE

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