Philippines deports 67 Chinese in Internet scam

Philippine authorities have deported 67 Chinese nationals alleged to be members of an international crime group specialising in online credit card fraud, the immigration bureau said Wednesday.

The Chinese were arrested last week by immigration agents who raided two houses in Manila the group had used as their base of operations, the bureau's investigation chief Arvin Santos said.

"They operate like call centre agents and contact prospective customers in China and Taiwan who they then convince to buy various goods and services and pay by credit card online," Santos said in a statement.

"Once the money comes in, it is diverted to the syndicate's bank account."

Santos said the Chinese embassy in the Philippines tipped local authorities off about the syndicate, which he said recruited the 67 with promises of high-paying jobs in Manila.

All 67 were flown back to Beijing last week, Santos said,

The deportation came after the Philippines in February sent 14 Taiwanese involved in a similar scam to China, triggering a diplomatic spat with the Taipei.

Taiwan retaliated by imposing strict requirements on thousands of Filipino workers, but eased the sanctions after the Philippines sent a special envoy and China sent the group back to Taipei.

Santos said the 67 deported last week were all from mainland China, and not Taiwan.


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