Eight Israelis allegedly linked to an online stock-trading scam were arrested by the police inside the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga on Thursday.
The authorities also nabbed 474 Filipino employees of International Branding Development Marketing Inc. who were doing online trading with prospective clients from Europe, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Russia, said Police Chief Oscar Albayalde said.
Clark Development Corp. has canceled the Certificate of Registration and Tax Exemption of the business process outsourcing firm.
The CRTE is the business registration allowing the firm to operate inside Clark. It was registered as a BPO firm and a sublessor of CDC.
The identities of the eight Israelis were not immediately available as the suspects are still being interrogated.
Albayalde said IBDMI was in a three-building hub at the Freeport, and that it was earning more than $1 million a day from its foreign clients.
He said IBDMI had been operating at the Freeport without a business permit from the Clark Freeport Zones “that’s very questionable as to how they were able to establish a big call center with this number of employees.”
Anti-cybercrime Group head Marni Marcos said the Israelis were arrested after four victims from Australia and South Africa sought police assistance.
Marcos said IBDMI’s employees would ask clients details about their bank accounts and credit cards and then assess the information.
They would then ask the clients to download a team viewer from the victims’ computer to enable the transfer of money online. After downloading the team viewer, the company would be the one manipulating the client account.
“They told their victims that they should invest in this because the graph was going up and they would be earning money. They would project that the stock company was operating in London but was actually operating in the Philippines,” Marcos said.
Marcos said they were checking how the suspects were able to do business in the country without paying taxes.