Philippine police arrested an entire call centre it says was run by Israeli citizens involved in running a stock market scam – including on South Africans.
One of the complaints that led to the raid came from South Africa, others from Australia.
The company, International Branding Development Marketing, has been linked to iTrader, a foreign-exchange broker shut down in Israel.
Heavily armed members of the Philippine National Police stormed a call centre in a free-trade zone and arrested 482 people on Wednesday, then paraded the Israeli ‘managers’ at a press conference.
Police said it had caught the company, International Branding Development Marketing, in the act of transacting with clients in various countries, including South Africa.
But the clients were investing in shares in a fake UK company, police allege, in a scam that has cost victims dearly.
“Recent investigation revealed that the fraud has already reaped hundred millions of dollars from its foreign clients through online trading,” the police said in a statement.
Philippine authorities are due to reach out to Interpol to help identify victims.
A search warrant was obtained based on the complaints of several Australians, and one South African.
Police told journalists that one part of the scam involved getting credit card information, and later access to bank account details, from victims.
The operation had used “several different names” over the years, according to police.
CNN Philippines aired police footage of the raid in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.