GOVERNMENT agents have busted a mail-order bride syndicate run by a Chinese national in an operation over the weekend in Cebu City, a police official said on Monday.
Chief Supt. Reginald Villasanta, executive director of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Philippine Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), said that the operation resulted to the arrest of two suspected syndicate members identified as Mei Yi, a call center owner, and its manager Joy Vitor.
“We have busted a Chinese-led syndicate which arranges marriage of Filipinas to foreign clients thru the internet. This is actually another version of a mail-order bride but this time, the syndicate is involved in trafficking of persons,” Villasanta said.
The two were arrested by combined government agents in their office Filipina Heart Internet Consultant at No. 7 Calderon Compound, Banawa, Cebu City.
The operation was carried-out jointly by operatives of the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), an agency under the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The PAOCC official said that the syndicate’s modus operandi is to arrange the marriage thru internet and asks payments from their foreign clients thru credit cards.
Aside from the arrest of two suspects, 13 victims, mostly females, were rescued in the operation. Thirty-five computer sets containing sexy photographs of Filipinas looking for foreign partners and different online equipment were also seized during the raid.
“They allow their foreign clients, mostly businessman from Western countries, to access their account and view sexy Filipina models and once a prospective wife was found, the syndicate arranges his Philippine trip to meet his future wife in person,” Villasanta said
The PAOCC said the operation in Cebu City was part of Operation Jolly Cupid conducted in line with the government’s campaign against on-line child and women pornography.
The suspects are now facing charges for violation of Republic Act 10364 or the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. ANTHONY VARGAS