680 suspected Chinese scammers arrested in Malaysia raid

Robie de Guzman   •   November 21, 2019   •   908

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysian authorities have arrested 680 suspected Chinese online scammers in a raid near Putrajaya, the Immigration Department said on Thursday.

The raid was conducted Wednesday at what is believed to be a call center in a six-storey building in Cyberjaya, south of Kuala Lumpur, Immigration Department director-general Khairul Dzaimee Daud said in a press conference.

About 8,230 mobile phones, 174 laptops, and 787 computers were seized, he said, adding that 100 people had escaped and efforts were underway to track them down.

The department had announced the news Wednesday on its Facebook page, saying then that almost 1,000 were arrested in a scam syndicate run by Chinese nationals.

Social media videos showed people jumping out of second-storey windows, dozens sprinting out of the building, and one person being tackled by law enforcement.

The group had been operating in Malaysia for six months and had been targeting victims in China through investment scams using WeChat Pay and Chinese banks for transactions, Khairul said.

The call center was secured with security guards, CCTVs and access cards.

All those arrested were found to have entered the country via social visit passes and almost all of them could not produce their passports, the official said. EFE-EPA

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Philippines, Malaysia to boost bilateral ties amid easing pandemic situation – DFA

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is looking to bolster its ties with Malaysia amid improving COVID-19 situation in Southeast Asia, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.

In a statement, the DFA said that the department’s Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs Neal Imperial met with Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Norman bin Muhammad last Oct. 18.

Among the things discussed by the two officials were initiatives seeking to revitalize the two nations’ relations across all areas amid easing coronavirus pandemic situation, it added.

“The two officials exchanged views and proposals on how to further boost bilateral trade and investment, address the COVID-19 pandemic, and roll out post-pandemic recovery initiatives, including the careful reopening of borders to gradually revitalize business and two-way tourism,” the DFA said.

The department said that both parties have also discussed counterterrorism cooperation, the promotion of moderate Islam in predominantly Muslim areas, as well as Malaysia’s support for the development of Mindanao.

The two officials also agreed to continue working together to further enhance Philippines-Malaysia bilateral ties, and explore the possibility of reconvening high-level bilateral meetings early next year.

Despite the effects of the pandemic, Malaysia remains one of the Philippines’ top trading partners and investment sources.

During their meeting, Imperial also conveyed the congratulations of the Philippine Government to Malaysia’s newly elected government, the DFA said.

Philippines to lift travel ban on 10 countries starting September 6

UNTV News   •   September 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to lift the current travel restrictions on travelers from 10 countries starting September 6, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced in a statement on Saturday.

These countries are namely:  India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Nonetheless, international travelers coming from the said countries shall comply with the appropriate entry, testing and quarantine protocols, depending on the country’s approved “listing,” Roque said.

He added that the IATF has adopted the “Yellow” and “Red” classifications, in addition to the “Green List” countries/jurisdictions/territories.

Roque said this is based on the countries’ respective incidence rates and case counts as primary criteria, and testing data as secondary criteria.  The incidence rate is the cumulative new cases over the past 28 days per 100,000 population while case counts are cumulative new cases over the past 28 days.

The government first imposed the travel restrictions on India in April then later expanded to include more countries to stem the spread of Delta variant, the highly transmissible strain of COVID-19.

 

120 repatriated Filipino workers from Malaysia arrive home

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2021

Some 120 overseas Filipino workers (OFW) repatriated from the neighboring country of Malaysia have returned home.

The government of Davao City said the repatriated Filipinos landed at the Davao City International Airport  via a chartered Philippine Airlines flight on Monday.

Davao City Tourism Operations Office (CTOO) chief Generose Tecson said the repatriated OFWs will head to different cities and provinces as their final destination.

As in previous repatriation flights to the city, the OFWs will be staying at the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ)-certified and Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited multi-use hotels.

“They will undergo a 14-day quarantine and will be released on the 15th day. They will be swabbed on the seventh day,” Tecson was quoted as saying in a statement by the city government.

“If positive, they will be brought to the Van City for isolation and monitoring,” she added.

The OFWs presented negative RT-PCR results before boarding their flight since Davao City is enforcing an ordinance that requires mandatory testing prior to entry into the Davao City via the Davao International Airport.

Tight security is also being implemented in quarantine facilities where the OFWs are staying to keep them from going around the city.

Aside from OFWs from Malaysia, a batch of 382 OFWs from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates also arrived in the city on August 6.

This is part of the national government’s repatriation program for Filipinos stranded abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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