MANILA – Thursday 29 November 2018 – Authorities in the Philippines arrested 32 persons, including eight foreigners, over an investment scam targeting Australians at their office in Pasig City overnight.
NCRPO head Police Director together with IFW Global operatives and US Homeland Security, served search warrants and raided the offices of Wilmington Capital Advisers and Tsaifu Elysium Global Inc. around 8:30am in the Ortigas business centre in Pasig City. They will allege that the group has been in operation in the Philippines for over two decades and had stolen millions of dollars from victims around the globe in that time.
One of the scams uncovered included the selling of TILRAY shares to the Australian public whilst purporting to be a company called Timber Hill Group, a clone of the real company known as Timber Hill Australia Pty Ltd.
The way the scam works is the caller phones "pretending to be in Sydney, calling from the Sydney office, when they have actually cloned a real company in Australia and they are purporting to be that company, selling real shares, but they don’t actually have any of the stocks".
Ken Gamble, Chief Executive of IFW Global said “There is a lack of Filipino laws here to help us with this. International boiler room gangs have a feeling that they can get away with it in the Philippines and that is what we are trying to stop.”
According to IFW’s research efforts the suspects would target potential victims to convince them to invest in bogus international companies and shares.
Gamble said that “the investment scam was earning these fraudsters hundreds of thousands of US dollars each month, this was paid for through foreign bank accounts and transferred to the Philippines through companies set up for the purpose of laundering money.”
Once the victims had sent their funds to the investments the boiler room gang would cut contact and be left with the millions of dollars.
“These boiler room gangs change offices frequently to avoid detection” Gamble said.
The suspects have denied all allegations with the Filipino call center agents claiming that they were not aware that what they were doing was part of an illegal boiler room gang.
IFW urges any victims of this scam to come forward and file a complaint against the suspects by contacting them directly.
The suspects will be facing large scale fraud charges and violation of Section 26 of Republic Act 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code.
IFW Global has a strong operations centre in the heart of Asia, which is the world’s largest hub for many types of cybercrime. We also have offices elsewhere around the globe in Europe, USA and Oceania.