Philippines Arrests 25 Koreans Over Alleged Fraud, Gambling

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MANILA, Philippines (Associated Press) — Twenty-five South Koreans have been arrested in metropolitan Manila on suspicion of internet fraud or illegal online gambling, Philippine authorities said Friday.

Twelve of the suspects are wanted back home for allegedly duping their compatriots into investing money in bogus real estate projects in the Philippines, Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said.

Their arrests Wednesday in a posh condominium followed the bureau's apprehension on Monday of four other South Koreans for alleged fraud and voice phishing. They're accused of duping hundreds of their compatriots who lost money after revealing private information to callers impersonating legitimate companies.

The National Bureau of Investigation also presented to the media on Friday five South Korean nationals arrested for running a website for illegal online sports betting and casino gambling in an upscale subdivision.

The arrested men, wearing orange T-shirts, tried to cover their faces with their hands or shirt as they faced the cameras during the news conference. They are facing illegal gambling complaints, said NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin, adding the activity also facilitated money laundering.

The five were apprehended Tuesday, a day after the NBI also arrested four South Korean women for allegedly operating an illegal online casino inside a mall.

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