PAOCC orders deportation of 156 foreign nationals linked to Porac POGO

PAOCC orders deportation of 156 foreign nationals linked to Porac POGO
File photo shows a typical office of a licensed Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator or POGO.

MANILA, Philippines — At least 156 foreign nationals who worked at the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) hub in Porac, Pampanga have been ordered deported by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC).

In a memorandum issued on Thursday signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, the PAOCC ordered the Bureau of Immigration to expel the POGO workers of Lucy South 99 Corp. and blacklist them to bar their re-entry.

The memorandum also directs the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze the assets of Lucky South 99 Corp., which include but is not limited to all 46 buildings in its compound and the vehicles parked within the vicinity.

Prior to this, officials said that scores of POGO workers were able to escape from the compound after a possible government insider linked details of the raid. 

The PAOCC has since launched an internal investigation.

Of the 158 foreign nationals arrested from the raid, at least 126 are Chinese, while the others are Vietnamese, Malaysian, Myanmar and Korean.

The raid on Lucky South 99 led to the discovery of an alleged torture room and evidence of "love scam" operations there.

The PAOCC said that the employees held up at the POGO hub were physically tortured as punishment if they did not reach their quotas. Some videos sent to them show male and female workers being physically abused.

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