TWENTY-ONE men allegedly involved in illegal online casino operations and drug activities in Laguna are now in jail after being arrested by agents of the Laguna Police Provincial Office in separate undercover operations in the province, Police Regional Office 4-A director, Brigadier General Jose Melencio C. Nartatez Jr. announced on Sunday.
The Calabarzon police director said the 21 are facing charges for violation of Presidential Decree 1602 as amended by Republic Act 9287 or illegal gambling in relation to RA 8484 or online casino and RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
According to Brig. Gen. Nartatez, 14 of the suspects were arrested during an operation at Block 16, Lot 2, Tennessee Street, Southville Town and Country subdivision located in Barangay Sto. Tomas in Biñan City past 9 p.m. last Monday.
Laguna PPO director, Colonel Randy Glenn G. Silvio said the 14 were allegedly caught in the act of processing cash in a monetary bet intended for online gambling without any permit from the local government and the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation.
Col. Silvio said they launched the operation amid an advisory from PAGCOR regarding the presence of unauthorized gambling joints being operated by unscrupulous groups and individuals in the country.
PAGCOR also called on Facebook to help them shut down sites promoting these illegal gambling activities online.
The Laguna police director said the suspected operator of the raided establishment identified as Philip John Bautista alias ‘Kenjie’ is still being hunted as of press time.
He added that the suspect was monitored to be operating an online gambling scheme being broadcast live via internet.
Another raid at Block 1, Lot 13, Phase 3-A in Bgy. Pacita 1 in San Pedro City on the same day led to the arrest of seven online bet loaders and a bet encoder of Lucky Crown 888, the official said.
Members of the Laguna PPO Special Operations Unit, the Provincial Intelligence Unit and the San Pedro City Police Station conducted the operation after they discovered that the suspects were allegedly operating an illegal online gambling scheme inside a residential area situation between a school and a church, all without any License to Operate from PAGCOR.
Silvio said his men confiscated the P8,000 in marked money which were placed as bet money for cash-in by a poseur as well as seven desktop computer sets with the name Lucky Crown 888 , two mobile phones, two routers, one router hub, assorted SIM cards and cash-in bet money worth P29,500.
However, the owner/operator of the raided establishment identified as Angelo Miguel Anico alias ‘Gelo’ was also not around during the raid and is still being tracked down by the Laguna police.
Col. Silvio said that their investigation showed that Lucky Crown 888 utilizes a gambling scheme/modus through the use of Online Platform Facebook to advertise, recruit, and offer commission in every bet-money being cash-in through Online Wallet G-Cash among its recruited agent or master agent.
Further, he said that Lucky Crown 888 was found to be using various websites in which a bettor will place his lucky bet and choose his desired online gambling games including baccarat, color game and slot machines.
The official added that they have discovered during the operation several names of personalities with bank accounts believed being utilized by Anico as his ‘Dummy Accounts.’
“We are conducting further investigation to ascertain the identity and possible connections of the said bank accounts so that we can file appropriate criminal charges if evidence will warrant against the suspects,” Silvio said.