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Chinese nationals arrested for obtaining gov't IDs illegally — BI

MANILA, Philippines — Four Chinese nationals suspected of obtaining government IDs through fraudulent means were apprehended in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan last month, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

In a statement on Monday, the BI said that the 4 Chinese men identified as Wang Tao, Li Xiaoming, Guo Zhi Yang and Lyu Zhiyang were arrested in Brgy. San Pedro in Palawan City on March 19. 

“The arresting team of the operation have been working on the case for several months and have kept close coordination with intelligence forces and law enforcement agents to ensure the smooth arrest of the subjects,” the BI’s press release read, quoting BI Intelligence Chief Fortunato Manahan.

During the operation which was carried out by three different agencies, various Philippine-issued IDs such as driver’s licenses, postal IDs and birth certificates were discovered and confiscated from the foreign nationals.

The operation was carried out in collaboration with the Naval Forces West, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency 4B, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Lyu, also known by the alias "Ken Garcia Lee", allegedly masterminded the scheme and gained notoriety in the local region for being identified as a leader of a fraud syndicate in Palawan, according to the immigration bureau.

He was reported to lead a local syndicate that supplied illegally obtained government-issued documents to undesirable aliens and trafficking victims.

The four suspects, who are facing charges of misrepresentation and undesirability in violation of the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, were already transferred to the BI facility in Taguig, according to the BI. 

The immigration bureau also highlighted that last year, there were at least 10 arrests involving foreigners in possession of authentic Philippine IDs.