4 Korean nationals nabbed for illegal POGO, scamming
CEBU CITY, Philippines — At least four Korean nationals were arrested for operating an illegal POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation) inside a condominium in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City on Friday, August 5, 2022.
Police identified the suspects as Taewoong Kang, 42; Jung Ho Won, 41; Kim Dae Hyeon, 36, and Park Ji Sung, 40, all natives of South Korea but presently residing in a condominium in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
They allegedly started this illegal activity for about two to three years already.
Aside from operating illegal POGO or online gaming, they are also allegedly involved in scamming activities, victimizing Korean nationals.
Allegedly, the suspects earn millions daily from their victims.
“Online gaming, online dating sites. Mang scam, unya mga Korean nationals ang victims nila. Mga online gambling, phishing, magpadala og link unya pag nag click sa link, dad-on tas ilang site ug didto na ma hack atong bank account,” said Police Captain Nigel Sanoy, officer-in-charge of the Criminal Investigation Group Lapu-Lapu Field Unit.
“Mag create silag application. Mag register ka, online gaming then pag naka invest kag big amount of money, i shutdown nila ang ilahang application. In that way, imong gi invest is dili na nimo makuha og balik,” Sanoy added.
Sanoy said that it took them at least six months before they were granted a search warrant. They applied for a search warrant for violation of Republic Act 8484 or the Access Device Regulation Act of 1998 last February but this was approved only last Wednesday, August 3, 2022.
He added that it was difficult for them to obtain the necessary pieces of evidence against the suspects since they are staying in a condominium in Cebu City until they were able to conduct their operation earlier today, Friday, August 5.
Authorities confiscated 11 pieces of cellphones, 18 units of CPU, 14 pieces computer monitors, seven pieces of routers, 30 pieces of flash drives, 10 pieces of memory cards, and 120 pieces of sim cards, among others.
The operation of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Lapu-Lapu City Field was conducted by virtue of a search warrant issued by Judge Ramon Daomilas of the Regional Trial Court Branch 11 in Cebu City.
Sanoy said that this is the first time that they encountered this illegal activity within their jurisdiction.
He added that there were no Filipinos involved in this illegal activity. However, there were assistants who will prepare their foods, and stock their groceries, as the four rarely go outside their unit since they are operating 24/7.
Sanoy could not tell if the suspects belong to a bigger group. However, he said that there are still a lot of them operating here.
“Kung sa Korea man gud ni nila buhatun, grabe ka hi-tech didto. Grabe ilang cybersecurity didto so maglisod sila. That is why muanhi silag Pilipinas para anhi buhatun ang klase nga activity kay luag man atoang cybersecurity,” he added.
Sanoy said that they now have pieces of information they could hopefully use to conduct another similar operation.
The four Korean nationals are currently detained at the CIDG-7 Lapu-Lapu City Field Unit detention cell.
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