Operatives of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) have arrested the suspected mastermind of a West African syndicate that hacks automated teller bank machines (ATM) in the Philippines.
Immigration Intelligence Division Chief Fortunato Manahan, Jr. identified the suspect as 34-year-old Ghanaian Victor Patrick.
Patrick has been in the country since April 20, 2019 with a tourist visa and applied for a missionary visa , which was petitioned by a Cebu-based company.
However, when immigration agents checked the supposed address of the company they discovered it does not exist.
Subsequently, a mission order was issued following a letter sent by intelligence operatives of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in connection with Patrick’s illegal activities in the country.
Patrick was collared in a joint operation conducted by members of the BI and the AFP at the parking lot of a mall in Bicutan on October 14.
“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 Barangay Moonwalk in Parañaque,” Manahan added.
Patrick will be facing deportation charges for violation of Section 37(a)(9) of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940 for obtaining an immigration document under false statement and representation.
The BI said Patrick’s visa is deemed void from the start considering that it was obtained by means of fraud.
The BI is now coordinating with other law enforcement agencies to identify and arrest his possible cohorts and other foreign scammers that might be operating in the country.