Senate OKs bill imposing life imprisonment for bank hackers, ATM fraudsters

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2019 03:28 PM

MANILA – The Senate on Monday approved on third and final reading a House measure that seeks life imprisonment for bank hackers and ATM skimmers.

Under House Bill 6710, which aims to amend the Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998, hacking bank systems is punishable by life imprisonment and fines of up to P5 million, the Senate said in a statement.

Hacking bank systems, skimming of 50 or more ATM cards, online banking accounts and debit and ATM cards fall as "economic sabotage" and are considered as non-bailable offense, it said. 

Developments in technology “necessitates the need to provide more teeth” to existing laws, said Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies Committee chair Sen. Francis Escudero. 

The following penalties were also proposed under the measure:

  • Up to P500,000 fine and 12 to 20-year imprisonment for anyone caught in possession of 10 or more skimming devices and has access to at least one account 
  •  Penalty of up to P300,000 and 6 to 12 years jail time for anyone in possession of 10 or more counterfeit access devices but was not proven to have accessed any account
  •  Any offense involving fraudulent use of credit cards shall be punishable with 4 to 6 years imprisonment and twice the value of the obtained card
  • A P500,000 fine and imprisonment of 10 to 12 years for offenses involving the use of one or more counterfeit devices or possession of device-making or altering equipment
  •  P800,000 penalty and 12 to 20 years jail for those who committed any offense under Section 9 of RA 8484

The measure also grants additional powers to the National Bureau of Investigations and the Anti-Cybercrime Group of the Philippine National Police to pursue further investigations of fraud, the statement said.