By JUN RAMIREZ
Immigration (BI) operatives arrested 19 foreign nationals wanted for various crimes including drug trafficking and call center fraud in an operation with the Royal Thai police on June 14 in Muntinlupa City.
In a report to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, BI Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) Chief Bobby Raquepo said that 16 of the arrested are Thai nationals who are undocumented and pose a risk for public safety and security for being fugitives from justice.
“We received information from the Royal Thai Police that they are fugitives from justice and a part of a large-scale criminal syndicate that have been operating an illegal call center in the country,” Morente said in a statement.
“They have amassed millions of Thai Baht by committing fraud and victimizing Thai people in the Philippines,” he added.
According to the report, the syndicate initially operated in Cambodia and Malaysia before expanding their operations to the Philippines.
BI spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval stated that the passports of the 16 Thais have already been revoked by the Thai government.
Sandoval added that three Taiwanese nationals were also arrested during the operation.
Reports from Taiwanese authorities reveal that the ring leader, known as alias Wu Chang Long, is a fugitive from justice wanted for drug trafficking.
“Let this serve as a warning to other foreign nationals who plan on conducting their illegalities in the Philippines,” said Morente.
“We will not allow foreign criminals to use our country as their venue for their illegal activities,” he added.
The 19 foreign nationals were caught operating an illegal call center at Posadas Village in Barangay Sucat, Muntinlupa City.
They will undergo inquest proceedings, and will be detained at the BI Detention Facility in Taguig City pending their deportation.