76 illegal POGO workers arrested in Makati
MANILA, Philippines – Cops from the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) arrested 76 Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) workers in Makati City at around 11:30 am on Tuesday, May 5.
Most of the arrested, some 63 of them, were Chinese, while 13 were identified as Filipino workers, according to the NCRPO's report sent to reporters on Wednesday, May 6.
They were arrested in a building at Barangay Olympia in Makati City after cops received a tip that they were operating without a license and also during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which suspended POGO operations and enforced steep rules to promote physical distancing during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Philippines has since allowed POGOs to operate at a limited capacity on May 1, despite most of non-essential industries closing due to the pandemic.
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chief Andrea Domingo argued that POGOs are technically business process outsourcing (BPO) companies. BPOs have been allowed to operate during the Luzon-wide lockdown with the condition that they pay their taxes.
Police recovered the following items during the raid of their headquarters:
- 75 laptops with different brands
- 13 keyboards and mouse
- 23 identification cards
- 6 boxes of assorted computer cables and wires
- 42 adoptors
- 1 check booklet
- 3 boxes containing cellphone load cards
- 2 monitor screens
- 1 speaker
- P115,200 ($2,275.87*) in cash
- 126 Chinese Yuan ($17.75**) in cash
- 16$ in cash
The owner of the business, a certain “Xiao Bao”, remains at large.
They are set to face complaints for allegedly violating Presidential Decree No. 1602 against illegal gambling, Republic Act No. 9287, Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act, and Article 151 of the Revised Penal Code, which refers to disobedience to a person of authority. – Rappler.com
**1$=7.10 Chinese Yuan