By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) deported on Monday nine Japanese nationals arrested last year at the request of authorities in their country where they are wanted for telecommunications fraud.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the nine Japanese were flown to Narita Airport, Tokyo aboard a Japan Airlines flight from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The deportees were identified as Irie Dai, Ishii Kyogo, Hamaoka Kantaro, Maeyama Takuto, Tanaka Kazuya, Yoshida Takeshi, Murata Seiichi, Kouki Shouji, and Imizumi Ryo.
They comprised the first batch of deportees from among the 36 Japanese nationals who were arrested in Makati City last Nov. 13 by agents of the BI fugitive search unit (FSU).
According to Morente, the schedule for the implementation of the deportation of those remaining at the BI Detention Center in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig has yet to be finalized.
A summary deportation order had earlier been issued by the three-man BI board of commissioners against the aliens, paving the way for their eventual return to Japan.
In a two-page order, the board, chaired by Morente, said that being fugitives, the Japanese should be expelled from the Philippines as their continued presence here poses a risk to public interest.
It was earlier reported that operatives of the BI FSU caught the aliens in the act of operating several work stations that they used to conduct voice phishing operations that defrauded many of their compatriots in Japan.
Japanese authorities reportedly alleged that the aliens are members of an organized crime group that engage in voice phishing and telecom fraud that victimized many Japanese.
Authorities further alleged that combined losses incurred by the suspects’ victims already amounted to more than US$18 million.