THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Friday said that it arrested 277 illegal workers, many of whom were Chinese nationals working for illegal online gaming operations.
In a statement on Friday, the BI said that the alien workers were arrested in Pasig City on September 11. The raid’s original targets were four Chinese fugitives, who, according to BI Commissioner Jaime H. Morente, were wanted in China for large-scale fraud amounting to RMB100 million or over P700 million.
“We received an official communication from Police Attaché Chen Chao of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines indicating that these Chinese fugitives engaged in an investment scam that victimized more than a thousand individuals, and has an estimated cost of damages amounting to more than RMB100 million,” he said.
The raid, which took place in Ortigas Center in Pasig City, led the BI to 273 other Chinese workers also accused of massive fraud. They were caught while engaged in illegal gambling operations.
“Upon verification with the Chinese government, we found out that the passports of these fugitives have already been canceled, making them undocumented aliens,” said BI’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) Acting Chief Bobby R. Raquepo in a statement.
The arrest was done in collaboration with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG), and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
“These fugitives will be hunted, deported, and will be blacklisted, effectively banning them from re-entering the country,” Mr. Morente said. — Gillian M. Cortez