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Philippines deports 279 Taiwanese in online fraud

Taiwanese, suspected of being members of a fraud syndicate, sit inside a Philippine Bureau of Immigration bus as they arrive at Manila's International Airport, Philippines early Wednesday Sept. 19, 2012. About 279 Taiwanese were deported following their arrest for alleged online fraud. One died while others began falling ill in crowded makeshift detention facilities, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- The Philippines has deported 279 Taiwanese arrested in the country's biggest crackdown on online fraud after one died and many others fell ill in crowded detention facilities.

Taiwan urged the Philippines to send them home to face prosecution there.

They are accused of impersonating police, prosecutors and bank officials to convince victims in China and Taiwan to transfer money to accounts provided by the syndicate. They allegedly duped victims into believing their bank or credit card accounts had been hacked and were being used for money laundering or other crimes.

The Taiwanese left early Wednesday. They were detained with 86 Chinese and a New Zealander in a police camp gymnasium where one Taiwanese died of a stomach ailment linked to dengue fever. More than 100 others also fell ill.