Filipino caregiver turned money mule arrested

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Filipino woman arrested on suspicion of working for fraud ring.

Filipino woman arrested on suspicion of working for fraud ring. (By Central News Agency)

Taipei (CNA) - A female migrant caregiver from the Philippines was arrested on Friday for allegedly working as a money mule for a fraud ring, according to the Sanchangli police station in Taipei.

Speaking at a press conference Saturday, Lin Yu-hung, head of the station that is a part of Xinyi Precinct, said his team received a tip a few days ago about someone in the area withdrawing large sums of money from a local ATM over a period of days.

Suspecting that the money could have been obtained illegally, the police station checked security cameras and withdrawal records and determined that their person of interest was a Filipino woman.

The police spotted the woman, Eva Alitio Cafe, withdrawing more money while accompanying her employer to the hospital.

They tracked down her address and with more evidence in hand, raided the place where she was staying on Friday, seizing a cellphone, a passbook and debit card for a post office account, a list of money transfers and NT$100,000 (US$3,407) in cash.

Eva confessed during questioning that she was contacted by a German man living in Malaysia via Facebook to provide him with her personal bank account, police said.

At first she was told that she would be compensated for providing the information, but was later asked to withdraw over NT$190,000 that had been deposited into her account and transfer it to this man, the caregiver said.

The police found that she withdrew all of the more than NT$190,000 deposited during multiple visits to the ATM while accompanying her employer to the hospital.

She transferred NT$60,000 of that to the fraud ring and another NT$30,000 to her family because she thought her compensation of NT$400 was too little, and the remaining NT$100,000 was what she had yet to transfer to the ring, she said, according to police.

The 46-year old migrant caregiver, who has been working in Taiwan for the past four years, has been handed over to the Taipei District Prosecutors Office for further investigation into the alleged scam. (By Liu Chien-pang and Kuan-lin Liu)