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43 Chinese POGO workers deported

MANILA, Philippines — Forty-three Chinese who worked for an illegal Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) in Pasay City were deported yesterday, according to the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

The deportees were previously arrested by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and Philippine National Police-Women and Children Protection Center for allegedly violating Republic Act 9208 or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and RA 10364, otherwise known as the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law.

They were apprehended at a POGO hub along F.B. Harrison street in Pasay in October 2023, based on a search warrant issued by a Makati court.

The Chinese were the fifth batch of foreigners deported by the government for involvement in POGO and other illegal activities.

The first batch included 180 Chinese, followed by 21 Vietnamese, five Malaysians and three Vietnamese.

The BI said the foreigners were found to have violated the terms and conditions of their visas for engaging in human trafficking.

“They are considered threats to public interest,” the BI said.

According to Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco, the Chinese deportees were blacklisted and barred from returning to the Philippines.

“We are coordinating with other government agencies to rid the country of undesirable foreigners who abuse our hospitality and stay here doing illegal activities,” Tansingco said.

The Chinese deportees boarded a Philippine Airlines flight to Shanghai at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1.

Tansingco encouraged the public to report foreigners believed to be involved in nefarious activities. — Rudy Santos