MANILA — A total of 277 foreign workers were arrested in a raid at a corporate office in Ortigas Center in Pasig City, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported on Friday.
According to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, immigration agents are initially looking for only four Chinese fugitives who are wanted by authorities for their involvement in economic crimes in China.
However, the raid conducted on Wednesday resulted in the apprehension of 273 other foreigners, who were caught in the act of conducting illegal online operations.
“We received an official communication from Police Attaché Chen Chao of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines indicating that these Chinese fugitives engaged in an investment scam that victimized more than a thousand individuals, and has an estimated cost of damages amounting to more than 100 million RMB,” Morente said in a statement.
On the other hand, FSU Head Bobby Raquepo noted that the foreigners were found to be undocumented.
He said that after verification with Chinese authorities, it was discovered that those arrested are also fugitives from justice, and wanted for a large scale fraud and investment scam in their country.
“Upon verification with the Chinese government, we found out that the passports of these fugitives have already been canceled, making them undocumented aliens,” Raquepo added.
With this, Morente assured the public that they are serious in the drive against foreign criminals who try to evade punishment and prosecution.
“Their presence in the country is a risk to public security,” he said.
“These fugitives will be hunted, deported, and will be blacklisted, effectively banning them from re-entering the country,” the BI chief furthered.
The case has been forwarded to the Bureau’s Legal Division for filing of appropriate charges.
The Chinese national are temporarily being detained at the BI’s Warden Facility in Taguig City pending deportation proceedings.
The operation was conducted by the Bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU), in coordination with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG), and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS). Ferdinand Patinio/PNA- northboundasia.com