The authorities raided an illegal Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) last night in Makati City, where cops also arrested 50 Chinese nationals and a citizen of Myanmar.
Located in the village of Pio del Pilar, the POGO was raided at about 9:15pm after some concerned residents complained to the police about the company. The police said that the firm, which uses the name Hua Xin, does not have a license from either the Makati City Hall or the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.
Seized from the suspects were laptops, cellular phones, desktop computers, WiFi routers, and other office equipment.
Mayor Abby Binay announced in December that the City Hall would temporarily stop issuing business licenses to POGOs, alleging that such companies have contributed to the growth of crime in Makati. In a series of hearings in January, Senator Risa Hontiveros alleged that foreign women are being trafficked into the Philippines and are forced to work as prostitutes in brothels frequented by POGO employees.
Her colleague, Joel Villanueva, has also alleged that most POGOs do not pay taxes, an accusation that the Department of Finance promised to investigate.
POGOs have proliferated all over the country since President Rodrigo Duterte, who maintains a warm relationship with Beijing, was elected. Most employees of such companies are Chinese nationals.
This article, Makati cops arrest 50 Chinese nationals, 1 Myanmar citizen in illegal POGO raid, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!