Davao, south Philippines (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Seventy-eight Taiwanese nationals, most of them young males and females, were arrested by Philippine and Taiwan police in a series of raids in Davao City, southern Philippines yesterday afternoon.
Senior Superintendent Ronald de la Rosa, city police chief, said the suspects have been charged with large-scale fraud, possibly involving "millions of dollars", in Taiwan.
"They are operating like an international fraud syndicate victimising Taiwanese and Chinese nationals," De la Rosa said, adding that the suspects were here apparently to hide.
De la Rosa said back in Taiwan, the suspects would call their victims, telling them that they failed to pay their debts. If a victim refused to heed the demand, the group would then threaten him with arrest. The same group, now pretending to be the police, would call the victims, forcing them to pay a certain amount through bank transfer.
Aside from arresting the suspects, the raiding team also found several laptop computers and documents in three separate houses here.
Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said prior to the raids, the Taiwanese government had asked Philippine authorities to help in arresting the group.
"We are just cooperating with the Taiwanese government," Duterte said.
A representative from the Taiwan government who was part of the operations, refused to comment on the matter.