PHILIPPINES GOVERNMENT SET TO DEPORT 1,318 RECENTLY ARRESTED CHINESE NATIONALS (Update)
Bureau of Immigration officials claim that arrested Chinese online gambling staff violated immigration laws.
The massive online gambling and immigration bust by Philippines authorities late last week, in which 1,318 Chinese nationals were detained has been followed by a government announcement from the Bureau of Immigration that it is preparing to deport those arrested to their homeland.
Bureau officials said in a statement that the detainees have been investigated and found to be in violation of immigration laws, including staying beyond their authorized visit duration and contravening the conditions of their visit visas.
BI spokesperson Tonette Mangrobang confirmed that the foreigners were engaging in an unlicensed online gaming business.
“The 1,318 Chinese will be charged for overstaying, working in violation of the limitations and conditions of their visa, and engaging in an unlicensed online gaming business,” Mangrobang told local reporters, but was unable to identify the owners of the online gambling organization that had employed them.
Mangrobang added that some of the arrested Chinese nationals entered the Philippines as tourists.
“It appears that they legally entered the country but failed to legalize their stay here. They entered as tourists,” the BI spokesperson said.,
The arrests late last week was the single biggest detention of suspected illegal aliens that the BI has made, and took place at the Fontana Leisure Parkbased on a directive from the Department of Justice and a tip that there were Chinese nationals illegally working there.
Mangrobang said that as of Tuesday, they had no information yet if the Chinese nationals colluded with any BI personnel.