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China cracks down on cross-border crimes as POGOs thrive in PH

MANILA, Philippines – China's Ministry of Public Security intends to crack down on cross-border telecommunication fraud and has obtained a list of Chinese citizens suspected of these crimes abroad, said a Chinese embassy spokesperson on Sunday, February 23.

The statement was in response to reports that China has canceled the passports of thousands of Chinese working for Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).

But the embassy spokesperson did not confirm whether thousands of passports were indeed canceled.

China's crackdown, said the spokesperson, was aimed at telecommunication fraud crimes in various countries.

Chinese who commit long-term telecommunication fraud crimes abroad are prohibited from exiting China, according to the country's Exit-Entry Administration Law.

The spokesperson added that the embassy has worked closely with the Philippine government to remind Chinese citizens not to work illegally in foreign countries. Both countries are also cooperating when it comes to law enforcement.

"The Chinese side would like to continue to work closely with the Philippines to combat such crimes as telecommunications fraud, illegal online gambling, money laundering, illegal employment, kidnapping, extortion, torture, murder etc so as to effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of nationals of the two countries," the spokesperson said.

China is fighting online gambling, but companies are moving their operations offshore to countries like the Philippines in order to avoid sanctions.

POGOs in the Philippines have led to an influx of illegal Chinese workers in the country. – Rappler.com