Ex-PBA player linked to scam nabbed
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has taken into custody a former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player for his alleged involvement in a scam which has caused a telecom firm to lose more than P100 million worth of revenues since 2009.
Rene Alforque, who used to play for Tanduay Rhum Masters, was arrested by agents of the NBI Technical Investigation Division (TID) in his house on Radium Street in San Andres Bukid, Manila, on Wednesday afternoon.
NBI-TID head agent Palmer Mallari said the arrest was based on a complaint filed last month by Globe Telecommunications over a call bypass scheme which was discovered due to the unusually large volume of international call traffic in the San Andres area since 2009.
An inspection led the firm to Alforque’s house, resulting in the filing of a complaint against him with the NBI which then placed the former PBA player under surveillance.
After the information against Alforque was verified, NBI-TID agents raided his house at around 3 p.m. on Wednesday using a search warrant issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 21 Executive Judge Amor Reyes.
They seized various telecom equipment, including global system for mobile gateway devices, Subscriber Identity Module boxes and several computers.
Mallari explained that an international call bypass intercepts calls before these reach international gateway operators such as Globe Telecom.
International calls are then converted into a local call between two cell phones instead of between a landline and a cell phone, depriving the telecom operator of millions of pesos worth of long distance charges in addition to other fees and the national government of corresponding taxes.