Eight Israeli citizens were arrested in the Philippines in a massive anti-fraud crackdown which targeted close to 500 suspected scam artists.
According to Philippine authorities Thursday, 482 people were arrested on suspicion of fraud, in connection with an online investment scam which had bilked victims around the world after tricking them to provide their bank and credit card information.
Police chief Oscar Albayalde said 474 Filipinos and 8 Israelis were arrested in a raid on three buildings in the former US Air Force facility Clark Freeport outside of Manila.
Albayalde said the nearly 500 suspects netted in the raid had tricked victims into providing their bank and credit card information by posing as legitimate agents of an investment firm, offering to sell shares in a London-based company.
After the supposed investment agent obtained the victim’s bank or credit card information, money was stolen via an online application.
The eight Israeli suspects, said Albayalde, were caught “in the act of managing, operating, and manning the three target buildings.”
The suspects had “engaged in a fraudulent online trading activity that involves millions of U.S. dollars victimizing other foreign nationals all over the world," including victims in Russia, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
Authorities in the Philippines identified the suspects linked to the scam after some of the victims traveled to the Philippines and notified police of the fraud. Information corroborating their claims was also collected from disgruntled employees of the company suspected in the scam.