DOJ Junks Criminal Raps vs. 24 Taiwanese Nationals

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines (PNA) - A month after the deportation of 14 Taiwanese nationals to the People's Republic of China (PROC), the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the criminal case against them and 10 others which were filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Chinese Embassy.In four separate resolutions issued by Investigating Prosecutor Gerard Gaerlan, he recommended the dismissal of a complaint for syndicated estafa and violation of Republic Act No. 8484, otherwise known as "The Access Devices Regulations Act of 1998" against the 24 respondents."After a careful evaluation of the records of this case, the undersigned investigating prosecutor finds the evidence presented by the complainants insufficient to establish probable cause against herein respondents for the crime charged," Gaerlan said.Separate raids were conducted by the NBI Anti-Fraud and Action Division (NBI-AFAD) in the cities of Muntinlupa, Makati, Paranaque and Quezon where the 24 Taiwanese nationals have been arrested and various items such as two-way radios, box of telephone, laptops, computer cables and a router, among others, were confiscated from them.Gaerlan said that under Section 9 of R.A. 8484, prohibited acts involve either a counterfeit access device, unauthorized access device or an access device fraudulently applied for.However, in the complaint filed by the NBI and the Chinese Embassy, the seized items "cannot immediately be classified as access devices defined under R.A. 8484 since the said items were ordinary equipment or instruments used for ordinary activities.""Thus, failure to show any proof that these seized items were used in committing prohibited acts under R. …