11 nabbed in online casino raid

Nillicent Bautista - The Philippine Star
11 nabbed in online casino raid
Roulette table with chips
Pixabay / AidanHowe

MANILA, Philippines — Eleven people were arrested when law enforcement agencies raided an online casino hub in Parañaque City at past midnight on Friday.

Armed with a warrant to search, seize and examine computer data, operatives of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp. raided the online casino hub in Barangay BF Homes at around 12:30 a.m.

The warrant was issued by Judge Jaime Guray of the Parañaque Regional Trial Court Branch 260.

NCRPO chief Maj. Gen. Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr. said the operation stemmed from a tip regarding the illegal activities conducted by the suspects.

Police reported catching the suspects in the act of operating an illegal online casino operation on the platform called “The Big Net.”

Encar Cordova, 33; Giovanni Bautista, 30; Jian Paolo Mallari, 28; Jerommel Lioc, 29; Mico Christopher Alcala, 27; Benjamin Edgar Almazco, 29; Jeffrey Simoza, 24; John Erick Sebastian, 30; Erwin Asis, 33; John Marie, 21, and Christopher Rick Cabatbat, 21, face charges of illegal gambling and violating Republic Act 1017, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Police reported recovering from the suspects 11 computer sets, 21 mobile phones, two iPads, two laptops and two flash drives.

“The arrest of these suspects, especially their leader, is significant because the cases committed in cyberspace are continuously growing,” Nartatez said in an interview.

While Nartatez did not explicitly identify Cabatbat – one of the two youngest in the group – as the leader, the NCRPO chief said the suspect is the subject of an arrest warrant for murder and is among the four most wanted fugitives in Nueva Ecija.

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