A group of five Chinese and four Taiwanese cybercriminals who posted bail have been remanded by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration due to posing a flight risk. All alleged con artists remain jailed in Taguig City, a commercial and industrial center southeast of Manila, while courts review their cases.
“If convicted, they will have to serve their sentences first before they are deported,” said Acting Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison in an interview with The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The Philippine National Police’s Anti-Cybercrime Group arrested a total of 35 Chinese and Taiwanese nationals in a raid on August 6 – the 14 being held in Taguig City among them.
The suspects allegedly scammed wealthy people back in China and Taiwan, blackmailing them into sending large sums of money to the Philippines.
While the cyber-crime perpetrators remain grounded, Indonesian and Singaporean travelers have been taking to the skies in such large numbers that Jakarta-Singapore has become the world’s fastest growing major international air route – with more than 40 flights a day.
“With 130,000 return seats a week by November, Jakarta-Singapore will be the second biggest international route after Hong Kong-Taiwan and ahead of Hong Kong-Shanghai, Dubai-Doha and New York JFK-London Heathrow,” stated The Financial Times.
Indonesian tourists, the most lucrative demographic for Singapore, spent nearly $3 billion in 2011. According to AirAsia, an Indonesian airline, Indonesians account for between 70 and 80 percent of passengers traveling to Singapore. A large number of wealthy Indonesians also own property in Singapore.
Meanwhile, in Malaysia, a study conducted by The Universiti Malaya Educational Psychology and Counseling Department discovered a troubling trend among high school truants. Respondents claimed that they were skipping school because it had become a living “hell” for many of them.
“It’s very sad. There is a mismatch between what they perceive school should be and what they experience,” said Dr. Zahari Ishak, the leader of the study, to The Star. “School is not heaven, but hell to them.”
Ishak added that students felt unable to change the problems that they face at school, so choosing not to go became the option. Most schools have a policy that suspends students for truancy, which in turn acted as an endorsement for their original actions.
J.T. Quigley is assistant editor of The Diplomat.