Illegal POGO raided; 44 Chinese, 9 Pinoys caught

Rudy Santos, Ralph Edwin Villanueva - The Philippine Star
Illegal POGO raided; 44 Chinese, 9 Pinoys caught
ILLEGAL POGO BUSTED: Chinese nationals ride a police vehicle following their arrest for an illegal offshore gambling operation in Barangay Tambo, Parañaque the other night. Forty-four Chinese nationals and nine Filipinos were nabbed and dozens of computers were seized during the raid.
Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — Forty-four Chinese and nine Filipinos were arrested in a raid on an illegal Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) in Parañaque City before dawn yesterday.

The suspects – 30 Chinese men, 14 Chinese women and nine Filipino men – were arrested after the city police’s special operations group raided a house in Barangay Tambo and seized 400 cell phones, 36 laptop computers, 17 desktop computers, nine modems, five .45 caliber pistols and P1.3 million in cash, according to Parañaque police chief Col. Robin King Sarmiento.

He said they staged the raid after receiving a tip about a group of Chinese-looking men carrying firearms who were seen along NAIA Road during the curfew period.

Sarmiento said he deployed a team to the Mayuga Compound to verify the tip.

The men fled into the house and “our police team followed them and caught other Chinese individuals” engaged in an illegal online gambling operation, he said.

Mayor Edwin Olivarez, in a statement yesterday, said upon checking the suspects’ papers, authorities found that the 44 Chinese are not on the list of licensed POGO firms in Parañaque.

“The suspects claimed that they are workers of Skyluck Corp., Skydragon Global Technology, Dragon Wealth System and Dragon Global, but upon verification, none of these companies are registered in Parañaque,” he added.

The 53 suspects were charged with violating Republic Act 11469, the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act; illegal possession of firearms and illegal gambling before the city prosecutor’s office.

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. chair and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo said the POGO is operating illegally and not registered with PAGCOR.

She added that even if the POGO was legal, all gaming operations are suspended because of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

Domingo commended the police for the raid. – With Iris Gonzales


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