PAGCOR carried out a joint operation with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
The Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has reported that it carried out a raid together with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to rescue 40 foreign nationals who were working at an illegal offshore gaming company.
In addition to rescuing the workers, PAGCOR and DILG ordered the closure of the illegal establishment in Angeles City. The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said it will check the documents and working permits of the rescued workers.
PAGCOR had revoked the licence of Crimson Tulip BPO, Inc, a POGO service provider in Pasig City, after rescuing more than 100 POGO workers who had been kidnapped and illegally detained in Cainta, Rizal. The NBI and BI directed the operation after receiving a call from the Chinese embassy requesting the rescue of Chinese nationals.
The NBI reportedly rescued 70 Chinese, 16 Vietnamese, 2 Taiwanese, 1 Malaysian and 44 Filipinos who were allegedly forced into fraudulent online gaming businesses. PAGCOR said the revocation of Crimson Tulip BPO’s licence demonstrates the state-owned gaming company and regulator’s commitment to resolving POGO-related kidnapping cases that adversely affect legitimate POGO operations.
A few days ago, the regulator announced that it had intensified its collaboration with government and law enforcement agencies after several reports of kidnappings related to Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).
The Philippines finance secretary wants rids of POGOs
Benjamin Diokno, secretary of finance in The Philippines, has suggested that the country should abolish Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs). Speaking at a briefing by the Senate Development Budget Coordinating Committee on the 2023 state spending plan, he told senators that he saw the industry as a risk.
According to GMA network, he said: “If you ask my personal opinion on this, let’s discontinue the POGO because of the social cost. It also has a reputational risk because people will ask, ‘Why are they going to the Philippines? They were discontinued in China and Cambodia, why are they going to the Philippines?”
Diokno said that with China and Cambodia having clamped down on online gaming operations, people may deem the Philippines to be too “loose” or “not strict” with its rules.