By Jeffrey Damicog
A Korean fugitive and seven of his compatriots were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for stealing information and money from various bank accounts.
NBI spokesman and Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin identified the wanted Korean as Kim Tae Yang.
“Wanted ito sa Korea. May Interpol red notice ito (He is wanted in South Korea. The International Criminal Police Organization has already issued a red notice against him),” said Lavin.
Yang is wanted in South Korea for “telephone fraud” after stealing P50 million from numerous Korean victims.
“Our Interpol Division has already reported this incident to the Korean Embassy,” added NBI Deputy Director Vicente De Guzman III.
Yang and the seven other Koreans were arrested last August 10 in Angeles City, Pampanga by agents of the NBI’s Special Action Unit (NBI-SAU) which served a search warrant issued by a Tarlac City court to search, seize, and examine computer data (WSSECD).
The other arrested Koreans were identified as Jun Wu Wan, Oh Young Seong, Song Jong Min, Jin Jun Young, Sung Won Kang, Yeong Hak Tak, and Young Jo Choi. A certain Kim Dae Hyun remains at large and is being hunted by the NBI.
The NBI seized during the operation various items including desktop computers, laptops, point of sale (POS) and one-time passwords (OTP) devices, skimming devices, marijuana and methamphetamine hydrochloride, locally known as shabu.
“The modus operandi of the group is to steal information and print it or load it unto blank cards. The other modus operandi is they would also steal cards and they would use these cards to transact business or transfer the money from the cards and the credits to another account,” Lavin explained.
NBI-SAU Chief Emeterio Dongallo Jr. said his office conducted a surveillance operation against the group after receiving intelligence reports about its illegal activities last month.
“This group has been operating in the Philippines for almost a year somewhere in Central Luzon,” he noted.
Dongallo said the suspects entered the country as tourists but Yang managed to get in through the backdoor.
“Being subject of the Interpol notice, he cannot legally enter the Philippines. He entered through the backdoor,” he explained.
The NBI has filed against all nine suspects including the one at large charges for violating Republic Act 8484 (Access Device Regulation Act of 1996) and RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).