POLICE Regional Office 2 director, Brigadier General Crizaldo O. Nieves yesterday announced the arrest of 73 Chinese nationals found to be working in an illegal POGO establishment in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.
In a report to Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the Cagayan Valley police director said that apart from the 73 Chinese nationals, three Filipinos working for them were also arrested during the late Tuesday night raid at Villa Saturnina Hotel and Resort in Sitio Rafat in Barangay Rapuli in Sta. Ana municipality.
Nieves said Cagayan Police Provincial Office director, Colonel Ariel N. Quilang supervised the service of a search warrant for violation of Presidential Decree 1602 as amended by Republic Act 9287 or illegal gambling issued by Judge Nicanor Pascual Jr. of the Aparri Regional Trial Court Branch 8.
Around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, officers from the Cagayan PPO, the PRO2 Regional Intelligence Division and Regional Mobile Force Battalion and the National Bureau of Investigation swooped down on the resort-hotel and made the arrests.
Apart from the 73 Chinese nationals, three Filipinos identified as Erwin Digol, Alexis Isaac Ferro and Mylene Tuazon were also placed under custody by the local police.
The accused were believed to be running an illegal online gambling operation catering mostly to Chinese nationals abroad and are believed to be raking in millions of pesos daily.
Nieves said the main target of the raid identified as Frank Yu, a Chinese national described as the owner of the OFA Cagayan State Developer Corporation was not around during the raid and is still being tracked down by his men.
The PRO2 director described Yu’s company as an accredited real estate developer which has been monitored to be engaged in illegal online gambling activities in the province.
Quilang said that seized inside the illegal POGO raid were 103 laptop and desktop computers and other paraphernalia. The recovered pieces of evidence were brought to the Cagayan PPO headquarters for technical analysis by the Regional Anti-Cyber Crime Unit, the official said.
The arrested illegal POGO workers and employees were also brought to the Cagayan police headquarters for investigation and documentation pending the filing of criminal charges against them. Quilang said they will also refer the case of the 73 arrested Chinese nationals to the Bureau of Immigration.