25 Taiwanese, Chinese nabbed in Boracay for drugs, cybercrime
ILOILO CITY — Police arrested on Monday, 25 Taiwanese and Chinese nationals on Boracay Island in Aklan province on suspicion that they were involved in illegal drugs and cybercrime operations.
Senior Insp. Jess Baylon, chief of the Boracay Tourist Assistance Center, the island’s police force, said the two-story rented house where the suspects were staying served as a distribution point for various types of illegal drugs and the base of operations of a cybercrime group.
At least 20 operatives from various police units conducted the bust against Lin Szu in Sitio (sub-village) Bulabog in Barangay (village) Balabag at 7 a.m.
They arrested Lin after he sold a sachet of suspected shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) to undercover agents.
Policemen subsequently discovered several telephones and laptop computers in the suspects’ rented house, Baylon said.
He said the computers, routers and other electronic equipment were placed in at least 10 cubicles in the house’s ground floor.
Suspected drugs that included pills, serums and syringes were found in four rooms on the second floor.
Those arrested included seven Chinese and 18 Taiwanese. Seven of them are women.
Police had yet to release the names of the other suspects.
Also recovered from the house were lists of contact numbers believed to be targets of cybercrime operations in China and other countries.
The suspects, police said, could be part of a group victimizing foreigners, most of them their fellow Chinese and Taiwanese, through fraudulent online transactions and extortion.
Baylon said the house was placed under surveillance after policemen monitored boxes of equipment being brought into the house.
The tenants also roused suspicion because they rarely went out, police said.
Baylon said a Taiwanese couple rented the house for P120,000 a month. However, they were not in the house during the police operation.
The suspects were still at the house as of 5:15 p.m. while operatives were conducting an inventory of the recovered items.
The house is on the eastern side of the 1,032-hectare Boracay Island and is parallel to the crowd-drawing White Beach in the west. Bulabog Beach is popular for water sports. /rga/SFM
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