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Raid on Porac POGO hub resumes

MANILA, Philippines — After waiting for three days, agents of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) and other law enforcement officers on Friday night raided a Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) hub in Porac, Pampanga after securing a search warrant from another court in Central Luzon.

The raid initially scheduled earlier in the week was aborted when a court in Malolos City, Bulacan withdrew the search warrant it issued for the operation and rejected an application for a new one.

PAOCC executive director Gilbert Cruz said yesterday they started searching the compound of Lucky South 99 on Friday but they had to stop when electricity was cut.

“There were no lights because they cut the power,” Cruz said in Filipino over dzBB radio.

The raid resumed on Saturday morning, with two of the 46 buildings in the compound searched by PAOCC agents and operatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

They found no other victims of torture inside the two buildings, PAOCC spokesman Winston John Casio said in a text message. He added no torture devices were recovered.

Cruz said they have so far rescued two people in the compound who were victims of torture.

Special Action Force (SAF) troopers responded to shouts from a person inside the compound and found the victim inside a room with torture marks on his body.

Another Chinese man was found handcuffed to a bed frame and had bruises on his body.

“With that it really proves that crimes were being committed inside the POGO hub,” Cruz said.

Criuz instructed the raiding team to focus first on finding other possible victims before securing documents and other pieces of evidence.

The facility in Porac, Pampanga is connected with a POGO firm that was shut down in Bamban, Tarlac.

Col. Jean Fajardo, the PNP’s chief publicist, earlier said the incorporators of the Lucky South 99 are connected with Zun Yuan Technology which operates inside the Baofu compound which was raided last March due to reports of human trafficking activities.

Evidence recovered indicated that the incorporators of Lucky South 99 are connected to the illegal activities at the Baofu compound, Fajardo said at news briefing.

She added another