The Philippine National Police (PNP) is stepping up its campaign against illegal online activities related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic which includes the alleged selling of fake entry permits, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results, and vaccination cards to foreigners.
PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said Friday, Sept. 3, that he has instructed the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) to coordinate with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in monitoring unscrupulous individuals who are taking advantage of the pandemic to earn dirty money.
“Inatasan ko na ang aming Anti-Cybercrime Group na lalong paigtingin ang pagtutok at mga operasyon laban sa mga nagbebenta ng fake entry permits at iba pang mga iligal na aktibidad na may kaugnayan sa COVID-19 kabilang ang pagbebenta ng pekeng RT-PCR results, vaccination cards at iba pa (I ordered the Anti-Cybercrime Group to intensify the monitoring of illegal operations related to COVID-19 such as the selling of fake entry permits, RT-PCR results, and vaccination cards among others),” Eleazar said.
The PNP Chief assured the public that the personalities behind the illegal operations will be punished under the law.
According to Eleazar, there were reports indicating that the BI has received complaints on the alleged selling of fake entry permits to foreigners by online scammers. An unidentified victim was allegedly instructed by scammers to get in touch with an immigration officer who would facilitate the foreigner’s entry to the Philippines.
Eleazar said the point person referred to by the online scammers do not exist. The Bureau of Immigration also clarified that it is never its policy to offer entry permits via social media.
Aside from selling fake entry permits, the PNP is also monitoring the selling of vaccination cards and RT-PCR test results online.
Vaccination card is being eyed as an additional requirement for cross-border travel and currently, it is being used to avail discounts in some malls and business establishments as part of the private companies’ contribution to encourage more people to be vaccinated.
Likewise, a number of people were either arrested or charged in connection with the selling of fake RT-PCR results in the past.
Eleazar urged the public to report to authorities and lodge formal complaints if they were victimized by these illegal practices.