Justice Department Finds Probable Cause to Charge Nigerian Nationals for Violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

10 October 2018

Eight (8) Nigerian nationals were arrested and subsequently charged with violation of Republic Act (R.A.) No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 for their involvement in a computer-related forgery.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Cybercrime Division (CCD) presented on 5 September 2018 and 8 September 2018 the apprehended Nigerian nationals before the Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG) for Inquest Proceedings relative to their role in a scrupulous online scheme.

Investigation revealed that the Nigerian nationals were responsible for the creation and operation of the Philippines Project Award Commission (PPAC) which misrepresented itself as the central procurement agency of the Philippines. The PPAC enticed unwary business entities to participate in a deceptive public bidding process for the procurement of certain goods which were purportedly demanded by the Philippine government.

A US-based firm which supplies disinfectant products, through its legal counsel, averred that PPAC defrauded their company. Several business entities have thereafter surfaced and filed complaints against PPAC with the NBI-CCD.

The NBI-CCD filed applications for search warrants which it successfully effected. The NBI-CCD personnel were able to seize mobile phones, laptops, modems, routers and various identification cards from the Nigerian nationals. It was later discovered that the abovementioned items were also used in various fraudulent schemes, e.g., love scam, package scam and phishing.

Considering the foregoing, Assistant State Prosecutors Moises Y. Acayan and Michael A. Vito Cruz found probable cause to indict the eight Nigerian nationals for violation of Section 4(b)(1)(ii) or computer-related forgery under R.A. No. 10175. The criminal Information against them will be filed with the Regional Trial Court of Imus, Cavite.

The Department of Justice is resolute in its mandate to combat all forms of cybercrime. For this reason, the general public is enjoined to report violations of the Cyber Crime Prevention Act by e-mailing [email protected].

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