MANILA, Philippines — Authorities arrested five people, including three foreigners, in Pasig City, over an alleged cryptocurrency scam, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) said on Thursday.
According to ACG, Manila District Anti-Cybercrime Team personnel arrested two Filipinos, two Israelis, and an American during a search operation at a building along San Juan St., Barangay Kapitolyo on the evening of May 17, 2023.
ACG identified the suspects as Maria Mizukami, 35 (Filipino); Krizzia Garcia, 24 (Filipino); Shay Semo (Israeli); Chen Keren (Israeli); and Aron Derme (American).
The police operation stemmed from a report ACG received from a certain “Amere,” detailing the suspects’ online fraud activities and the location of the illegal establishment.
During the police operation, ACG said authorities caught Mizukami and Garcia conducting online fraud, as seen in their chat scripts and conversations in their system units, while the three other foreign nationals were apprehended for maintaining, owning, and supervising the illegal establishment.
Confiscated gadgets and items in the illegal establishment were 24 laptops with peripherals; a monitor; 16 mobile phones; a disc video recording; 16 pieces of system units; three external hard drives; an internet hub; IDs of suspects Keren and Shay; assorted foreign and philippine currency bills; two flash drives; a tablet; a ledger; and assorted documents, IDs, and membership cards.
The suspects were arrested for violating Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 following the implementation of a search warrant issued by Presiding Judge Hon. Andres Bartolome Soriano of Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 148.
ACG said the foreigners and the Filipinos, along with the seized pieces of evidence, were brought to its headquarters for proper documentation in preparation for the suspects’ inquest proceedings.
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