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BI needs tightened watch on undesirable aliens — Cops

July 13, 2022 Alfred P. Dalizon 450 views

CopsAMID an ongoing police operation against rogue Chinese nationals kidnapping their compatriots and literally ‘selling’ them to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators or POGOs in the country, officials have called on the incoming new Bureau of Immigration leadership to further tighten their way on undesirable aliens that may enter The Philippines.

In what has turned up to be a case of ‘modern-day slavery and human trafficking,’ PNP agents have uncovered the presence of some unscrupulous Chinese mainlanders who are abducting their fellows and purportedly selling them to POGO companies in Metro Manila or worst, torturing them ‘Yakuza or Mafia-style’ to force their families abroad to pay them huge ransom.

Lately, police have monitored reports that the seven Chinese nationals recently abducted by their armed countrymates in Quezon City was tortured by the suspects. A video showed one of the blindfolded female victims calling for help from her family.

There was also an information that the finger of one of the male captives was cut by the kidnappers who also threatened to slice off each of the victim’s finger every hour his family fail to heed their monetary demand.

The last information received by the police is that the victims were all released by the kidnappers after paying a hefty ransom demand. However, they refused to file any complaint for fear of further reprisals from the suspects.

A PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group official said they have monitored cases of some Chinese nationals who have been severely exploited by their rogue compatriots.

Colonel Randy Glenn G. Silvio said that unlike in other cases where modern-day slavers are forcing their victims to work in sweat factories or in their houses or farms, they have received reports that some rogue Chinese nationals are kidnapping their fellows in the metropolis not only for ransom.

In 2019, a PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group consultative summit concluded with several recommendations by the participants from different law enforcement agencies, the Department of Justice, PAGCOR and representatives from different foreign embassies to address the problem posed by rogue Asian nationals in the country.

One of the recommendation is to declare as “undesirable aliens” foreign nationals involved in feigned/hoax kidnappings and other offenses and to deport them immediately to their country of origin and permanently ban them from entering the Philippines; the speedy trial of cases involving foreign nationals; and the need to consider being a foreigner as an aggravating circumstance in case they are found to be involved in casino/POGO-related kidnappings.

There is also the recommendation to craft policies/laws to tighten the issuance of work permits to foreign nationals projected to work in casinos/POGOs in the country; and the trial in absentia or through embassy representation for cases with foreign nationals as either complainant/s or respondent/s and/or witness/es.

The PNP-AKG summit which was spearheaded by the PNP-AKG Advisory Group also recommended for the full cooperation of foreign embassies, hotels and casinos to the PNP in general and the PNP-AKG in particular; approaches to be implemented to deter kidnappings and ease the process of investigation for the early resolution of reported cases; and the provision of penalties and sanctions to individuals/groups involved in casino/POGO-related kidnappings including uncooperative victims.

They also include the need to grant the PNP-AKG visitorial powers over casinos and POGOs, sanctions for casino operators/management having casino-related kidnapping-for-ransom cases with loan shark modality; a recommendation to give hotel/casino operators the prerogative to ban uncooperative victims specifically those who are not pursuing complaints before the police; the need for PAGCOR to be given authority to penalize repeat offenders in kidnapping and other illegal activities taking place inside casinos and POGO establishments.

The PNP leadership headed by Lieutenant General Vicente D. Danao Jr. said it is going all-out to put an end to casino-POGO-related kidnappings in the country

Last week, the Journal Group reported that police are going after rogue Chinese nationals kidnapping their compatriots and literally ‘selling’ them to POGO companies in the country in what has turned up to be a case of ‘modern-day slavery and human trafficking,.”

A PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group official said they have monitored cases of some Chinese nationals who have been severely exploited by their rogue compatriots.

Colonel Randy Glenn G. Silvio said that unlike in other cases where modern-day slavers are forcing their victims to work in sweat factories or in their houses or farms, they have received reports that some rogue Chinese nationals are kidnapping their fellows in the metropolis not only for ransom.

“The kidnappers were believed to be contacting the families of their captives in China and demanding that they pay ransom thru virtual currency or the hostages will be ‘sold’ to other alleged POGO or Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators in NCR and nearby regions,” Silvio, the head of the PNP-CIDG National Capital Region Field Unit told the Journal Group.

The PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group headed by Brigadier General Rudolph B. Dimas since last year have arrested dozens of Chinese nationals found to be involved in the kidnapping-for-ransom of their fellows, many of them working in POGO companies or online casinos.

Brig. Gen. Dimas said that since 2021, they have arrested nearly 400 wanted persons and neutralized 25 wanted persons including kidnappers in gunbattles as he maintained that the kidnapping situation in the country remain to be under control as proven by their 2021 statistics.

Most of the incidents recorded by the PNP-AKG in 2021 until last month are work-related POGO incidents such as illegal recruitment of POGO workers, selling of POGO workers from one company to another and maltreatment of POGO workers, the official said.

However, Brig. Gen. Dimas said there was no evidence to prove that the 12 POGO and casino-related incidents they investigated in 2021 were orchestrated to fund the recent election campaigns.

He also explained that POGO-related incidents they investigated have turned out to be ‘work-related’ while casino kidnappings are ‘debt-related’ cases

The Journal Group learned that the four Chinese nationals arrested by CIDG-NCRFU agents last week were found to have not only demanded ransom from their victims’ families in China but have threatened to ‘sell’ their captives to POGO companies in the country.

Investigators said it is another form of human trafficking in which the suspects use violence, deception and coercion to exploit their targets for financial or personal gain. The victims in these cases would end up being trapped in forced labor in POGO companies where they are exploited behind closed doors with no way out unless they escape or be rescued by authorities.

On Friday last week, CIDG-NCRFU operatives arrested the four Chinese nationals accused of abducting their compatriots and demanding huge ransom from their families abroad during an operation in Bacoor City in Cavite, PNP-CIDG director, Major General Eliseo DC Cruz said.

Arrested along Princeton Subdivision in Barangay Mambog 4 in Bacoor City were Huang Yang Hui,31; Jerry Hong,32; Xiang Long Huang,29; and Yang Yuan,28..

The first three suspects are all jobless Chinese residing in the Bacoor City subdivision while Yuan was said to a female POGO operator residing at 308 Burgundy, McKinley, Pacific Avenue in Don Galo, Parañaque City.

Members of the CIDG-NCRFU launched a hot pursuit operation to arrest the suspects following a report regarding a kidnapping and robbery incident that took place around along Gilmore Street corner 11th St. in New Manila, Quezon City.

Shortly after the abduction was reported by the driver of the victims, the CIDG-NCRFU conducted the operation which led in the arrest of the four suspects.

An initial investigation showed that at least six unidentified heavily-armed Chinese-looking men snatched four female and three male Chinese nationals in the area.

Witnesses said that the kidnappers were armed with long and short firearms when they seized the victims.

Recovered from the arrested suspects were assorted identification cards, a caliber .45 semi-automatic pistol with a magazine containing some live ammunition and several mobile phones which were identified by the driver-witness as belonging to some of the victims.

“We are still continuing our operation to locate the victims of abduction as of press time. Sad to say, the arrested suspects are not talking,” said Col. Silvio.

The CIDG-NCRFU chief said that witnesses interviewed at the scene claimed that the armed men spoke Chinese when they snatched the seven victims.

The arrested Chinese nationals are now facing charges for kidnapping, robbery and violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013. They are set to be turned over to the BI.

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