Police in the Philippines have arrested fifteen Chinese nationals as part of the latest operation in the country to target illegal gambling.
The individuals were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in separate operations that were carried out in the cities of Manila and Pampanga last week.
Reporting on the raids, the NBI Director Dante Gierran stated that those who had been arrested were facing charges of violating Presidential Decree 1602, the Anti-Illegal Gambling Act as well as the Republic Act 10175, known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
The five Chinese individuals were arrested after the actioning of a search warrant by the NBIs Cybercrime Division (CCD) at a condominium in Malate, Manila. The warrant had been obtained in response to complaints from foreign residents in the area. Other warrants were served to enable a raid on a residence suspected of hosting illegal gambling in Punta Verde Subdivision, and on a property occupied by a Chinese national.
The arrests are the latest stage of an ongoing push by the Filipino authorities to target illegal gambling operations, many of which involve Chinese workers, including a raid two weeks ago that led to the arrests of 78 people in Pasig, and on Monday, a senior lawmaker, Senator Joel Villanueva, expressed concern about the link between illicit betting operations and Chinese immigrants.
In the latest raids, officers from the NBI were able to seize a range of equipment, including mobile WiFi and router devices, smartphones, laptops and passport devices. According to the NBI, when challenged, the suspects were unable to produce relevant permits to show that they had permission to operate a gambling business.
Steven is a seasoned freelancer writer from Coventry in the UK. He specialises in writing about the gambling industry and aims to provide unbiased, trustworthy and high quality content to the public. Whilst away from his freelance writing work he enjoys watching the football and following the F1.