AT LEAST four South Korean nationals allegedly operating an illegal Pogo (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation) and other scams were apprehended in their condominium unit in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City on Friday morning, Aug. 5, 2022.
Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Lapu-Lapu City Field Unit, along with the CIDG 7, arrested the four individuals after a legal search at their condo unit yielded several equipment used for illegal Pogo and dating sites.
The search warrant was issued by Judge Ramon Daomilas of Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 11.
Arrested by the CIDG personnel are Kang Tae-wong , 42, of Gwangju, South Korea, who is the subject of the search warrant; and his colleagues Jung Ho-won, 41; Kim Dae-hyeon, 36; and Park Ji-sung, 40.
Seized from them were 18 computer sets, 11 cellular phones, nine one time password generators or OTPG, seven Wi-Fi routers, 120 subscriber identity module or SIM cards allegedly used in the scamming activity, 30 universal serial bus or USB flash drives and other electronic devices.
Capt. Nigel Sanoy, chief of CIDG’s Lapu-Lapu City Field Unit, said the suspects were engaged in online gaming and dating sites which they used to prey on their fellow citizens living in South Korea.
The suspects would reportedly invite their prospects to invest in a certain company. Once their potential victim accepted their offer and fully make an investment, they would suddenly break all contact, Sanoy said.
“They would use their online gaming and online dating sites to victimize other Koreans for their own gain. Using these sites, they would attempt to phish their victims. Once the victim click on the link of their sites, they would then hack the victim’s bank account,” Sanoy said in Cebuano.
Sanoy said they have been monitoring Kang’s illegal operation in February 2022 prior to the raid.
During their surveillance, Sanoy said they learned that Kang and his colleagues started their operation in 2019 or before the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Sanoy said the Korean nationals decided to choose Cebu as their base of operation as cyber security in South Korea is very tight and they can easily be caught there.
He added that the suspects have no local contacts in the country and were the only ones running their sites.
“I cannot say that they are a big group but I can assure you that there many of them that have similar modus operandi,” Sanoy added.
The suspects will be facing charges for violating Republic Act (RA) 8484 or Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998 as amended by RA 11449. (AYB, BBT / TPT)