HUNDREDS of people have been arrested over a huge international foreign exchange scam which has cost Australian investors millions.

Eight Israeli nationals were among up to 500 detained over the colossal online investment fraud, which zeroed in on Australians and South Africans.

The Israelis are allegedly the masterminds of the sting, disrupted when armed police raided a former US air force base in the Philippines.

Locals were allegedly employed there to cold-call thousands of potential victims. Investigations have unearthed a complex web of offshore bank accounts and companies used to process profits.

Victoria Police is investigating a number of complaints after local people were persuaded to hand over their bank account details.

The Herald Sun revealed last month that two elderly people from Victoria had been scammed out of $300,000.

They were contacted on their mobiles by shysters claiming to be from a company called FTO Capital, and lost their money after being promised big returns through the foreign exchange trading scam.

Their money was stolen after bank account and credit card details were handed over.

Victoria Police is investigating a number of complaints.

FTO Capital is believed to be one of at least 10 sham companies operated by the syndicate. Australian private investigator Ken Gamble — who is working for some of the victims — this week travelled to the Philippines.

Mr Gamble, of IFW Global Investigations, said his company hoped to gather intelligence on assets held by the scammers so they could be ­recovered for victims.

Victoria Police last month warned people to be very careful before sending money overseas.

Article from Mark Buttler, Cairns Post:

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