February 29 ------ Over 2,000 Chinese nationals who work for Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) have been deported after authorities discovered that they have criminal records in China, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) said. According to a 24 Oras report by Jun Veneracion on Wednesday, the PAGCOR and Chinese Embassy found that many Chinese nationals in the Philippines who have criminal records in China work for POGO firms.
PAGCOR said around 70,000 Chinese nationals are part of the POGO industry, over 2,000 of whom have been deported starting last January 15. “We are trying to clean up the industry kasi ang dami ngang issues na lumalabas. Part of it is ‘yung involvement nga sa kung ano anong, parang ‘yung industry daw nagdala ng criminal activities,” Jose Tria, PAGCOR assistant vice president for Offshore Gaming and Licensing Department, said. According to PAGCOR, the Chinese Embassy orders employers to deport Chinese nationals with criminal records. “‘Pag hindi sinu-surrender then that’s the time we seek the help of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and pinapahuli ang mga taong ito,” Tria explained.
Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval added that they will track and cancel the passports of Chinese nationals found to be involved in telecommunications fraud. BI records show that 1,075 Chinese were deported in 2019, while Chinese nationals dominated the list of foreign fugitives nabbed in the same year.