China’s fight against the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) continues. Joining forces with Philippine law enforcement, Chinese authorities reaffirmed their commitment to ending illegal gambling and fighting POGOs-related crimes. Now, a new report reveals that China’s relations with the Philippines may be harmed by crimes related to illegal gambling.
The Philippine News Agency, the news service of the Philippine government, announced that the Chinese government is prepared to cooperate further with the Philippine government to combat crimes related to POGOs. The recent announcement comes after a meeting between Huang Xilian, the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla.
“According to the Chinese laws and regulations, gambling in whatever form by Chinese citizens, be it online gambling or gambling overseas is illegal.“
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla
Justice Secretary Remulla acknowledged that the Philippine government is prepared to further crackdown on illegal gambling activities in collaboration with Chinese authorities. Additionally, he pointed out that any form of gambling regardless if online or overseas is illegal for Chinese residents under Chinese laws. Acknowledging the recent crime wave related to illegal gambling, Justice Secretary Remulla pointed out that those incidents “not only harm China’s interests and China-Philippines relations, but also hurt the interests of the Philippines.”
Crackdown on POGOs Continues
The ongoing efforts against POGOs resulted in the shutdown of approximately 175 such operations. This left some 40,000 Chinese residents without jobs. A large portion of those individuals may reside in the Philippines illegally. What’s more, last week, Philippine authorities shut down two POGOs and rescued more than 140 foreign workers. The crackdown was the result of collaboration between the Department of Interior, the Local Government, the National Police and PAGCOR.
“It is appreciated that relevant Philippine law enforcement agencies rescued a number of Chinese citizens and shut down some POGO companies during their recent operations.“
Huang Xilian, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines
Speaking about the recent raids, Xilian pointed out that the Philippine law enforcement agencies helped rescue those Chinese citizens. He appreciated the efforts of law enforcement and pointed out that the crackdown helped close more POGOs. Now, the rescued Chinese nationals are currently awaiting deportation at a detention facility located in Taguig City.