3 IT specialists nabbed in Makati for illegal international call rerouting

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and members of the local police in Makati City have arrested three cyber technology specialists engaged in the illegal rerouting of international calls to subscribers for cheaper rates.

The NBI said the suspects were all from the Makati-based East West Placement Center Inc. A fourth suspect, the company's president and chief executive officer remained at large.

Seized from the company premises were computers, SIM boxes, SIM cards, and switching equipment.

The arrests were made following a request from Smart Communications Inc that East West Placement be investigated for engaging in illegal "international simple resale" or ISR activities, known as "Toll Bypass."

In its own investigation, Smart said it lost P932,036.71 due to the ISR activities of the suspects.

According to the NBI, ISR activities involved "routing and completing international long distance calls, without proper authority to local subscribers using cables, antenna, air wave or frequency, broadband/internet protocol (IP) services, telephone switching equipment and SIM cards."

The NBI said through ISR activities, the suspects were able to evade payment of international gateway facility fees and taxes that are due the Philippine government. Through ISR, international calls are directly routed to an unauthorized device, allowing them to charge lower fees for international calls.

After securing a search warrant from the Malabon City Regional Trial Court, local police officers and NBI operatives arrested the suspects on July 2 on the third floor of their company building.

"Two test calls were again conducted... and confirmed that ISR is being committed using the SIM cards found at the said premises," the NBI said.

Authorities said that charges for violation of Aricle. 308 of the Revised Penal Code (Theft) had already been filed with the Makati Prosecutor's Office. — DVM, GMA News

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