8 Japanese in Philippines to be transferred to Japan for arrest over phone scams

Japanese police are likely to arrest eight Japanese on suspicion of involvement in a phone fraud scheme upon their return to Japan from the Philippines as early as Tuesday.

The eight Japanese, in their 20s and 30s, were detained by Philippine authorities in February 2020. They were suspected of working without proper visas at a resort hotel in the northern province of Laguna.

Police in Japan have been investigating them on suspicion of their involvement in phone scams. Smartphones, PCs and what appears to be a manual for such a scheme were discovered in their hotel rooms.

Investigative sources said they believe that the eight people may have been involved in phone fraud cases targeting elderly people in the Japanese prefectures of Tokyo, Kanagawa and Shizuoka, before being detained in 2020.

The sources said the people are likely to have made fraudulent phone calls from the Philippines to Japan.

Police in Kanagawa Prefecture, neighboring Tokyo, sent about 20 investigators to the Philippines on Monday night for the transfer of the eight to Japan possibly on Tuesday.