MANILA — Authorities arrested more than 500 undocumented foreigners during an operation against an illegal business process outsourcing (BPO) company in Parañaque City, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Thursday.
NCRPO director, Maj. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said joint operatives of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), NCRPO’s Regional Special Operations Unit (RSOU) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines in coordination with the Chinese embassy, swooped down on the Golden Unicom Technology, Inc. 7th Floor, Millennium Building on NAIA Road on Wednesday night.
The 524 foreigners, arrested for telecommunications fraud, included 424 Chinese, 23 Vietnamese, 25 Malaysians, three Indonesians, four Taiwanese and 45 citizens from Myanmar.
Initial report showed that the foreigners are engaged in offshore telecommunications investment fraud victimizing foreigners to invest in fraudulent businesses.
“The initial findings of the Bureau of Immigration is wala silang (they do not have) working permit,” Eleazar said.
He said the collaboration of various law enforcement agencies proved to be an effective tool, not only in crime prevention, but also in crime solution.
“The Chinese authorities, through the police attache of China coordinated with us through the BI. In particular, this is based on their findings and investigation show that there is a company involved in telecom fraud in China and they were victimizing a lot of Chinese. After tracing the whereabouts and the location of this establishment they’ve asked the assistance coming from BI and then eventually from NCRPO and we conducted this operation,” Eleazar told reporters.
“The operation is a statement of a symbiotic relationship among Philippine law enforcement agencies and our foreign counterparts which is indispensable to ensure that the rule of law prevails in all circumstances,” he added.
Fortunato Manahan Jr., BI Intelligence Division chief, said the foreigners are involved in an illegal operation similar to the local budol-budol modus.
“If the alien committed a criminal act, it is under the jurisdiction of the local authorities. But if we see that there is an immigration violation, we may charge for deportation separately,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said.
“It is within our policy not to implement deportation unless local cases are cleared already. If the alien needs to serve time in our local jails then so be it, this is to ensure the full effect of justice,” he added.
Morente also reiterated his warning to erring foreigners.
“We welcome foreigners to visit the Philippines—work here, live here, study here, retire here, we welcome aliens as long as they comply with our laws,” he said. “Follow our laws or face deportation,” he warned.
Meanwhile, Eleazar said the undocumented aliens are currently detained at the NCRPO headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City. (With reports from Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)