Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of the top man of the oldest and largest phone scam groups victimizing South Koreans.
The 50-year-old phone scam ring leader, surnamed Park, was arrested in the Philippines on Monday, the National Police Agency said.
He is slammed with fraud charges after swindling millions of dollars from victims through phone scam, particularly via voice phishing.
The suspect, who was once a police officer, has allegedly run the phone scam ring in the Southeast Asian country four years after his dismissal in the police service due to alleged bribe involvement. The fraud ring was operated by Park since 2012.
The criminal’s team is hiding under the name Kim Mi-young, who deceives people through text messages, claiming to be a bank teller. The scammers then deceive people who call the number. They introduce themselves as loan personnel and ask for personal information from victims to get their identity. After acquiring the information, the scammers will then secure their access to the financial assets of their victims.
Park’s group is reported to be among the oldest fraud groups that deceive Korean people, to the extent that their money is at stake, through voice phishing methods.
Twenty-eight members of the said group were already arrested by the local police in Cheonan in 2013. Park, on the other hand, escaped outside the country.
The police said he hid some 400 kilometers southeast of Manila since his escape.
His crime partner was targeted by the police and knew his whereabouts through the National Police Service. This led to his and Park’s arrest last Sept. 25. Park, according to the police, has hid through using two identities, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The case will be discussed with Filipino authorities, and Park and his partner are being planned to be repatriated to Seoul.