90 Chinese, 2 Malaysians nabbed in Cavite illegal online gambling raid

NINETY Chinese and two Malaysian nationals believed to be working in an illegal online gambling firm in Bacoor City, Cavite were arrested by agents of the Anti-Organized Crime Unit of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group last Friday, the PNP-CIDG announced yesterday.

PNP-CIDG director, Major General Joel Napoleon M. Coronel said the raid at the Mariche Apartelle in Barangay Mabolo 1 in Bacoor City was triggered by information sent to the CIDG-AOCU regarding the presence of a large group of Chinese nationals frequenting the establishment and wantonly violating the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

“We got information that the Chinese nationals were being seen loitering in front of the said apartelle without upper garments and without face masks and were not observing social distancing,” the official said.

CIDG-AOCU operatives placed the area under surveillance and eventually monitored the gross violation of quarantine protocols by the foreigners in the area past 9 p.m. Friday.

Coronel said when the officers tried to accost some of the foreigners, they hurriedly entered the apartelle prompting the lawmen to give chase.

Inside, the CIDG-AOCU agents found Chinese nationals working at the garage complete with chairs, tables, computers and mobile phones.

“All were found to be without face masks and totally disregarding social distancing rules,” the PNP-CIDG chief said.

The lawmen secured the area and called the assistance of the CIDG National Capital Region and Regional Field Unit 4-A, the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group and the Cavite Police Provincial Office in arresting the 92 foreigners.

Recovered during the operation were 52 laptop computers complete with accessories, 102 mobile phones, a passport and P5.3 million in cash.

Coronel said 48 of the foreigners were found working for an online game while the others were merely gathering and loitering without face masks, smoking and socializing with each other in complete disregard of social distancing guidelines.

The 92 foreigners likewise failed to provide pertinent records such as passports and working permits that could prove the legality of their online gaming operation.

The 92 were placed under guard at the raided apartelle while the recovered pieces of evidence were brought to the CIDG-AOCU office in Camp Crame for proper documentation and investigation.

Initially, the foreigners were charged for violation of Republic Act 1332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act and Presidential Decree 1602 and RA 9287 or illegal gambling.