The Philippines’ growing reputation as a premier gambling hub in the region has also spawned a tainted side to it, particularly the run of illegal gambling operations that’s been proliferating the country these days. Recently, the latest of these operations has come to light after the National Bureau of Investigation filed criminal charges against five Korean nationals for running an illegal online casino.
Earlier this week, NBI Director Nonnatus Rojas named the charged individuals, identifying them as: Naryun Kim, Yunhee Hwang, Seyoung Chung, Wonseok Yang, and Hoi Cherl Yang. All five have been identified as residing in a posh suburban village south of Manila in Muntinlupa City.
The five Korean nationals were charged with violation of Presidential Decree 1602 as amended by RA 9287 or “An Act Increasing the Penalties for Illegal Numbers Game, Amending Certain Provision of PD 1602 and for Other Purposes,” and Republic Act 8484 of “The Access Device Regulations Act of 1998.” Before arresting the individuals, the NBI received a letter of request from the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) to look into possible international telephone fraud in the Philippines that were being operated by both Taiwanese and Korean nationals.
The NBI’s investigation was aided by a computer technician who admitted to installing all the services and technology the accused were using to run the operation, including expanded Internet and VOIP telephone connections. The technician also claimed to have been contacted by a Taiwanese man named Bao Shiao-Yu who the NBI has singled out as the alleged leader of the syndicate.
With all the information the NBI managed to unearth from the investigation, the government agency promptly filed a search warrant application from the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 24. Upon receiving the green light, NBI agents immediately went to the house and caught the individuals with their proverbial pants down, with some acting as call center agents while others operating the business side of the operation with having the necessary permits to run the business.