Philippines arrests 277 Chinese accused of investment scam

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Philippine immigration agents have arrested 277 Chinese in a raid against an online investment scam syndicate that defrauded hundreds of people, officials said yesterday.

The arrests on Wednesday in the Ortigas financial district in Pasig city in the Manila metropolis came after the Chinese Embassy provided information about the fraud, which has victimised more than 1,000 Chinese, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said.

Morente said he initially ordered the arrest of four Chinese but authorities caught 273 other suspects “in the act of conducting illegal online operations”.

The Chinese government cancelled the passports of those arrested, making them illegal workers in the Philippines. They would be charged and detained in an immigration jail prior to deportation, the immigration bureau said.

“Their presence in the country is a risk to public security,” Morente said.

“These fugitives will be hunted, deported, and will be blacklisted, effectively banning them from re-entering the country.”