First Cybercrime Law arrest made in Las Piñas City
Karla Martinez Ignacio tried to withdraw around Php1.4m in remittances sent from Philippine National Bank (PNB)-Guam when bank officials in PNB-Barangay Almanza, Las Piñas blocked her attempt after they suspected fraud.
The amount was deposited in Ignacio’s personal savings account and a business account she owned called Ostrich Business Services. Probe by PNB-Guam revealed that the money came through unauthorised remittances from a Sunny Pulan Juan (Php1.2m) and a Gretchen Quilit Andres (Php173,053) in their bank.
After an internal probe, PNB-Guam said Ignacio used inauthentic data since no deposit of money was actually made and the identities and whereabouts of the alleged remitters (Juan and Andres) were unknown. The bank believed that Ignacio somehow gained illegal access to its computers and credited the amount to her accounts.
PNB-Almanza filed a complaint to the Las Piñas City prosecutor’s office after the probe. Before the complaint was made, Ignacio had already withdrawn Php150,000 of the total amount remitted.
If found guilty Ignacio would be facing 6 years’ jail time for violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The prosecutor’s office said ‘there was enough evidence to show fraudulent transactions. She knowingly used the said inauthentic data to with intent to gain and with intent to cause damage to the bank.’
Aside from computer-related fraud, the Cybercrime Law aims to stamp out identity theft, child pornography and online libel.