Possible leak? 157 foreigners caught leaving Porac POGO before police ops

Joann Manabat

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Possible leak? 157 foreigners caught leaving Porac POGO before police ops

LUCKY SOUTH. Authorities conduct a rescue operation at the largest POGO site in Porac, Pampanga on Wednesday, June 5.

Joann Mamabat/Rappler

Authorities are probing a possible leak, after foreign nationals were caught leaving a POGO hub in Porac, Pampanga, just as police were about to conduct a welfare check

ANGELES CITY, Philippines – A total of 157 foreigners, mostly Chinese nationals, were caught leaving the premises of a rogue Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) in Porac, Pampanga, just as police were supposed to conduct a “welfare check” in the area, prompting authorities to probe a possible leak.

Accounted for are foreign nationals comprising 127 Chinese, 23 Vietnamese, 4 Malaysians, and 3 Burmese. There were 50 Filipinos as well. They were caught after attempting to pass through one of the checkpoints.

The POGO workers were aboard at least 12 different vehicles going out of the premises of the Royal Garden Estate, along Fil-Am Friendship highway in Angeles City.

Authorities are checking if the vehicles came from Lucky South 99 Outsourcing Incorporated, a POGO previously accused of human trafficking.

POGO HUB. Authorities conduct a rescue operation in the largest POGO site in Porac, Pampanga on Wednesday, June 5.

The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC), together with the Department of Justice Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Special Action Force, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Anti-Cybercrime Group, Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group, and Porac police, served a search warrant against the officers and employees of Lucky South 99 based on a human trafficking complaint.

The warrant, issued by Judge Maria Belinda Rama of Malolos RTC Branch 14, was issued on June 4 for violations of Republic Act 9208 or Anti-Trafficking Act specifically for sexual and labor trafficking.

When authorities got to Luck South 99’s facilities, they found that it had no power. There were also no people there when authorities arrived.

PAOCC spokesperson Winston Casio said the welfare check is part of their operation prior to an actual raid. Consequently, checkpoints were installed to all known exit points of the POGO facility, he said.

“We are conducting welfare checks because we are in search of the trafficked victims here. This is part of the procedure before we conduct an actual raid operation,” Casio said.

Possible leak? 157 foreigners caught leaving Porac POGO before police ops

Some foreign nationals from the POGO site were also caught on video leaving on Tuesday afternoon.

Casio said the leakage of the raid will be investigated. All mobile phones of the operating units and agencies involved in the operation will be subjected to digital forensics. 

Lucky South 99 was already raided in 2022 for alleged kidnapping of at least 43 Chinese nationals, Casio said. 

It is the biggest facility in Pampanga spanning 10 hectares with 46 buildings comprising POGO offices, administrative buildings, dormitories, KTV, restaurants, barbershop, clinic, grocery store, private villas and a golf course.

Angeles City information office confirmed with Rappler that although one of the main entry points is in Angeles City, the POGO site is located in Sitio Pulung Maba, Barangay Santa Cruz, Porac, Pampanga.

Rescue operation

A rescue operation was conducted after a “welfare check” the following day, June 5.

PAOCC said the rescue operation stemmed from sex trafficking and two tortured foreign nationals who were all working at Lucky South 99.

According to Casio, Lucky South 99 does not have an internet gaming license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

RAID. At least six POGO workers were rescued by the authorities on June 5 after they were discovered in the POGO site in Porac, Pampanga. Photo by Joann Manabat/Rappler.

At the POGO site, at least two Chinese people—a man and a woman—were saved. Specifically, Casio stated that the Chinese woman was abducted in April from Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“She was supposed to have a vacation in Boracay. Unfortunately, her wallet got lost at the airport and a Chinese person came over to help her, it turns out that helping her would bring her here. And since April, she has not been able to get out, she’s been locked up here,” Casio said in a mix of Filipino and English.

“Hindi sila makalabas on their own. Nakalock yung building, May nakaharang na malaking kahoy para hindi nila mabuksan yung pinto. Kailangan nila bukan ang bintana para makalabas,” he added.

(They are not able to get out on their own. The building is locked. There is a big block of wood blocking so they won’t be able to open the door. They needed to open the window to get out.)

An in-depth investigation on all of the cases discovered at the Lucky South will continue, said Casio. –

1 comment

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  1. RB

    Need to shut down these POGOs regardless of how much money they make for the economy. Especially the ones close to the military bases.

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