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Image Source Philippine Daily Inquirer

Over 800 Filipinos, foreigners rescued in POGO raid in Tarlac

March 14, 2024 Philippines Crime & Legal

In Bamban, Tarlac province, the Philippines, police from several government agencies conducted a rescue operation on Wednesday, saving 371 Filipinos and 497 foreigners who were allegedly involved in human trafficking at a Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO).

The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) spokesperson, Winston Casio, said that 427 Chinese, 57 Vietnamese, 8 Malaysians, 3 Taiwanese, 2 Indonesians, and 2 Rwandans were among the recovered POGO workers. Zun Yuan Technology Inc., a Chinese-owned business, was the target of search warrants issued by a regional trial court in the province of Bulacan for breaking laws against human trafficking and major wrongful detention.

When the Malaysian Embassy received information of a Malaysian being held against their will at one of the company’s locations, a rescue operation was initiated. In addition, the rescue operation was sparked by a Vietnamese laborer who ran away on February 28 and informed the authorities of the situation.

The operation was carried out by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies. The foreigners who were rescued will have their work permits removed and undergo immigration procedures before being sent to their home countries. Petitioners have been filed to have Zun Yuan Technology’s POGO license revoked, and investigations are in progress to determine charges against company authorities.

Additionally, authorities confiscated firearms from the business’s premises and are investigating its involvement in “love scams” and bitcoin investment frauds. In order to gather further evidence, the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group will get a warrant to examine the business’s systems.

With power generators, a café, a convenience store, and a swimming area among its many facilities, Zun Yuan Technologies bills itself as an expert in online gaming and operations.

Original story by: Philippine Daily Inquirer

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