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40 foreign POGO workers rescued in Pampanga, says PAGCOR

September 19, 2022 Philippines Crime & Legal

MANILA — Forty foreign nationals working in an illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) company in Angeles City, Pampanga were rescued on Saturday after a raid by authorities, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) said.

The announcement came after a similar rescue operation was conducted at a POGO site in Cainta, Rizal on Friday, yielding more than 70 foreigners.

In a statement, PAGCOR said the raid and rescue in Angeles City was jointly carried out with the Interior and Justice departments, Philippine National Police (PNP), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said the operation seeks to “put an end to the POGO-related kidnappings and human trafficking cases in the country.”

“Our police officers are pursuing the other people involved in this. Of course, it’s an ongoing case. The person caught was a human resource development officer so I believe there is someone higher up. That’s why we are here now because we are shutting it down because this is an illegal establishment,” Abalos said, according to the statement.

“The legal POGOs, we have no problem with them. Their policy is good, and their employees are good. The problem is the illegal ones who give the industry a bad name,” he added.

The rescued foreigners will be turned over to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) for the checking of their documents and working permits.

After the raid, PAGCOR and the Department of Interior and Local Government declared the said POGO establishment closed.

Meanwhile, PAGCOR also said it revoked the license of a POGO service provider in Pasig City after the rescue of the allegedly kidnapped and illegally detained workers in Cainta.

The company, Crimson Tulip BPO, was stripped of its license after the workers were rescued, most of whom were Chinese nationals, PAGCOR said.

The operation was carried out by authorities upon the request of the Chinese Embassy in Manila.

“The NBI reportedly rescued 70 Chinese, 16 Vietnamese, two Taiwanese, one Malaysian and 44 Filipinos who were allegedly forced to work in fraudulent online POGO operations,” PAGCOR said.

Source: https://www.manilatimes.net/2022/09/19/news/national/asean-members-should-address-online-gambling-issues/1859015/amp
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