AGENTS of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced the arrest of a Ghanian suspected to be the mastermind of a West African syndicate that hacks automated teller machines (ATMs) in the Philippines.
Immigration Intelligence Division Chief Fortunato Manahan, Jr. identified the African as Victor Patrick, 34, who was arrested in a joint operation conducted by members of the BI and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) last Oct. 14 at the parking lot of a mall in Bicutan.
According to Manahan, a mission order was issued following a letter sent by local intelligence authorities regarding Patrick’s illegal activities in the country.
“The AFP said that Patrick is one of the prime suspects involved in an ATM hacking syndicate. He has been seen to frequent several big banks in Brgy. Moonwalk in Parañaque,” Manahan added.
Manahan further shared that after verification of Patrick’s travel history and visa status, it was learned that the alien arrived in the country last April 20, 2019 using a tourist visa and applied for a missionary visa, which was petitioned by a Cebu-based company.
Immigration agents then conducted surveillance on the declared address of the company and discovered that the said company does not exist.
Meanwhile, Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco disclosed that Patrick will be facing deportation charges for violation of Section 37(a)(9) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 after obtaining an immigration document under false statement and representation.
“Patrick’s visa is deemed void from the start considering that it was obtained by means of fraud,” said Tansingco.
Tansingco added that they are in close coordination with local law enforcement agencies to locate and arrest possible cohorts and other foreign scammers that might be in the country. With Jun I. Legaspi