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Police nab members of syndicate involved in telephone racket

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MANILA, Philippines—Careful with cheaper international calls to the Philippines. It may be the work of a “transnational” criminal syndicate.

The National Capital Region Police Office reported on Friday the arrest of two members of a syndicate that uses computers and other devices to convert inbound international calls to local calls, shortchanging telecommunications companies, and the Philippine government, of millions of pesos in revenue.

In a press conference at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig, NCRPO spokesperson Chief Insp. Kimberly Molitas Gonzales revealed that on Thursday, the regional intelligence operations unit arrested Korean female Yooun Nayong, 37, in a condominium unit on  Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City, and Filipino caretaker Carlo Dadulla, 21, in another unit in Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City, on the complaint of Globe Telecom.

The two stand accused of violating the Access Device Regulation Act of 1998, after they were caught in possession of GSM modems with SIM ports, hundreds of Globe and Touch Mobile SIM cards, Internet modems and gateways, cellphones, laptops, antenna consolidators, computer cables and other peripherals, believed used to bypass Globe’s system and to convert calls from abroad into local calls.

Globe-NCR representative Gerald Bechayda explained that with the networked devices, the syndicate allows calls to bypass the Globe International Gateway Facility. The syndicate converts the international caller’s number into a local cellphone number, so the call will be charged local instead of international rates.

Gonzales said the two suspects cater mostly to callers based in South Korea, though Bechayda said they believed the syndicate caters to international calls from other Asian countries.

A third-party information technology consultant, who refused to be named, explained that the syndicate’s “hotline” would be printed on call cards abroad sold by “foreign brokers.” The hotline instructs the callers on how to call the syndicate’s Philippine operations. When the Philippine-based operations receive the call, it uses the Globe SIMs to forward the calls to the Philippines-based recipients.

“If sometimes, you receive international calls reflected as local mobile numbers, this system is what they use,” the IT expert said.

The syndicate earns through “profit-sharing” especially with the call cards’ sales, he said.

Globe alleges that since November or in the past three months, the company has been shortchanged by an estimated P3.4 million in revenue  because of the modus operandi; P400,000 in January alone.

Gonzales, quoting NCRPO director Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina, described the modus operandi as a “transnational crime” and an “economic sabotage.” She pointed out that the Philippine government also suffers losses because telecommunications taxes will also be shortchanged.

The IT consultant said Globe’s attention was drawn by an unusual volume of calls as early as April last year, with the company’s system able to detect “fraud-related” calls.

He added that callers abroad may be unwittingly engaging in something illegal. “The callers are also victims because they’re only finding ways to make cheaper calls,” he said.

Two other members of the syndicate in the Philippines are being sought, Gonzales said. Search warrants have already been procured from Judge Zaldy B. Docena of the Malabon Regional Trial Court Branch 170, though attempts to track down the suspects are hampered by constant transfer of the place of operations.

In the meantime, the local police vowed that they are “coordinating with other Asian countries to be able to resolve the problem.”

“We are also encouraging other telecommunications companies experiencing the same problem to come forward so we can curb future occurrences,” Gonzales said.


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  • kwangkwang

    kasunod na nito ang mga naglipana na unlimited wimax. hehehe.

  • D L

    So Globe and Smart are the goverment?

    What is really needed is to arrest all Globe and Smart executives, the Internet in the country is a disaster, how much country revenue is lost because of slow Internet why in Japan and Hong Kong the connection is 30mbps and in the Philippines it is sometimes 30kbps.

  • delpillar

     So why do the calls should pass the MAFIA-controlled GATEWAY of GLOBE and PLDT?

    From my skype and other account, using LEGAL connection, the charges calling to SIngapore and other Asian cities is from 2 to 8 cents (US$0.02 to US$0.08) per minute.

    Calling the USA is US$0.01 per minute.

    Calling the Philippines is US$0.28 to US$0.40 per minute.

    WHAT ARE THE BASES OF THE PHILIPPINE PRIVATE GATEWAY Companies WHY they are charging ASTRONOMICALLY HIGH TERMINATION FEE to INTERNATIONAL CALLERS?

    OFW’s and International callers to the Philippines can only say to GLOBE and PLDT and BAYANTEL as =========> PACK-YOU for your MASS-CORPORATE GREED.

  • AllinLawisFair

    Ito kaya ang dahilan kung bakit noong ilang ulit akong tumawag sa Pilipinas may sumagot na babae. Ganito ang nangyari:

    Babae: Hello
    Ako: Hello, pwede po bang makausap si _____________?
    Babae: Sandali lang po nat tatawagin ko.
    Ako: <<<<<<< naghintay
    Babae: Telephone para sayo, dalian mo (kunwari ay pinagmamadali ang tinatwagan ko)
    Ako: Pakitawag po ulit, overseas call po ito.
    Babae: Dalian mo.

     Naghintay nang ngahintay subalit makaraan ang halos 10 minuto ay hindi ko pa rin nakausap ang tinatawagan ko.

    Ilang ulit na nangyari ang ganito at ang dialogue ay pareho. Yung boses ng babae na unang sumagot ay yun pa rin ang boses ng babae sa mga sumunod na tawag ko. Maraming ulit na nangyari ang ganito. -ang mga tawag ko ay may pag-itan na maraming araw at hindi nangyari sa loob ng ilang sandali lamang.

    Halatang may nagaganap na katiwalian.



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