Monday, May 27, 2024

Raids on Tarlac-based POGO yield stash of SIM cards

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian has urged the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to rigorously enforce provisions of the SIM registration law following the retrieval of a substantial number of SIM cards during a series of search warrant implementations against a Tarlac-based Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO), now termed as Internet Gaming Licensee (IGL).

During the execution of a warrant to seize and examine computer data from the raided Zun Yuan Technology Inc. on March 22 and 23, authorities were able to recover assorted SIM cards, along with hundreds of cellular phones and digital devices.

Authorities also found SIM cards when they recently opened all the safety vaults at the premises of Zun Yuan Tech.

“This illustrates the extent of scamming activities being carried out by POGOs. It is not the first time this has happened. In fact, many SIM cards have already been confiscated in previous raids on POGOs/IGLs,” said Gatchalian, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

He noted that legitimate SIM card users continue to receive text messages aimed at defrauding unwitting subscribers.

Gatchalian is a co-author of Republic Act 11934 or the SIM Card Registration Act, which was signed into law in December 2022.

According to him, groups behind many scamming activities in the country could be related to POGOs/IGLs.

“It is alarming to note that unscrupulous individuals or groups continue to commit fraud and various scamming activities even after the measure was passed into law. This goes to show that we have yet to achieve the purpose of this legislation, and it is the job of the NTC to ensure that provisions of this law are implemented thoroughly,” Gatchalian said.

He emphasized that the measure is intended to establish accountability in the use of SIM cards and deter the use of SIM-related technology in various scamming activities.

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