Police have raided an illegal online gambling operation in Makati City and arrested at least 50 Chinese nationals on Monday night.
A composite team from the Makati City Police - Station Intelligence Section, and Sub-Station 3 raided the 5th floor of a building situated at 7299 J. Victor Street in Barangay Pio del Pilar around 9:15 p.m. Monday.
According to Southern Police District spokesperson P/Maj. Jaybee Bayani, the police operation was made in close coordination with Makati City Business Permit and Licensing Office and barangay officials in the area.
The authorities led by P/Lt. Reyne Baluyan and P/Col. Oscar Jacildo conducted the raid following confidential information regarding an illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) owned and operated by a Chinese national named Hua Xin.
The authorities seized at the establishment various laptop computers, electronic devices and gadgets, mobile phones, personal computers, broadband, WI-FI routers and other gaming paraphernalia.
They said the establishment also violated the government’s policy suspending all POGO operations and its service providers for the duration of the community quarantine in Luzon to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease.
The arrested foreigners are now detained and will be charged with violation of Article 151 in relation to Executive Order 11 (General Community Quarantine), Presidential Decree 1602 (Illegal Gambling), and Republic Act 10175 (Cyber Crime).
Two month ago, the Makati City police arrested 76 individuals, 63 of them Chinese nationals, also engaged in illegal online gambling.
The authorities raided room numbers 402, 403, 404, 405, 406 and 409 of a building situated at 8884 Obrero Street in Barangay Olympia operated operated by a Chinese national named Xiao Bao.
Police said the foreigners have no license and necessary permits from the Makati City government and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to establish and conduct gambling operation in the area.
Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay had declared an indefinite moratorium on the issuance of new business licenses and permits to service providers of POGO due to rising criminality and prostitution in southern Metro Manila.
The city chief executive cited the “overheating” market for residential and commercial space and the rising criminality and prostitution as major reasons for her decision to stop more POGOs from operating in the country’s financial district.