At least P5.5-M found in Tarlac POGO; town mayor denies abetting crimes

Joann Manabat

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At least P5.5-M found in Tarlac POGO; town mayor denies abetting crimes

CASH BUNDLES. A total of P5.5 million in bundles of P1 thousand were seized by the authorities during the breaking of the vaults at the raided Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated in Bamban, Tarlac on Monday, April 8.

Joann Manabat/Rappler

Authorities comb through the Baofu Compound of Zun Yuan Technology, a POGO suspected of engaging in human trafficking and other illegal acts

TARLAC, Philippines – Millions in cash, passports and other documents were found on Monday, April 8, in 11 vaults at the Baofu Compound of Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated, a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) that was raided by authorities last month.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) confiscated P5.5 million, US$444, 20,000 Vietnamese dong, and 20 Hong Kong dollars from 11 vaults.

Twenty-seven vaults were discovered in the Baofu compound during the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC)-led raid last March 13. The vaults were opened based on a separate search warrant issued by Executive Judge Hermenegildo Dumlao II of Regional Trial Court Branch 81 in Malolos, Bulacan.

Authorities will continue to break open the remaining 16 vaults on Thursday, April 11.

The Anti-Money Laundering Council was present during the breaking of the vaults together with the PAOCC, PNP CIDG, and representatives of the barangay.

At least P5.5-M found in Tarlac POGO; town mayor denies abetting crimes

PAOCC spokesperson Winston Casio said they are hoping to find crypto wallets, seed phrases, and financial documents for forensic accounting and analysis. Acetylene was used to break open the vaults as electricity and water lines in Baofu compound were disconnected, he said.

“What’s important are the financial documents, the crypto wallets and seed phrases that will allow access into their crypto accounts. What we need is evidence that will lead us to the digital currency of their digital accounts.” Casio said.

VAULT NO. 3. At least P5.1 million, a few hundred US dollars, two bags of coins with P2,000 each were discovered in the third vault at the second floor of the administrative building of the raided Zun Yuan Technology Inc at the Baofu Compound, Bamban, Tarlac on April 8. Joann Manabat/Rappler

Wala na yang mga pera diyan sa loob ng vault. Barya nalang yang mga nandiyan. Natuto na sila doon sa unang raid operation sa Sun Valley sa Clark (Pampanga) kaya baka ang nakalagay nalang siguro diyan sa mga vaults are the operational cost of the POGO, yung pampasweldo, etc.

(There is no more money in the vault. Those are just coins. They have learned already from the first raid operation at the Sun Valley in Clark, Pampanga. So maybe what’s in the vaults are the monies for the operational cost of the POGO, for the salaries, etc.)

Casio said one of the passports found in one of the vaults was the missing passport of a female Chinese named Lilly who was rescued during the raid. Lilly is a trafficked victim who was reportedly tortured and remains unpaid.

Casio added that the owner of the vault is Malaysian Walter Wong, a property manager at Zun Yuan Technology Corporation. Wong is among eight foreigners charged with alleged human trafficking and serious illegal detention and physical injuries.

Bamban mayor denies allegations

Bamban Mayor Alice Guo, in a statement sent to Rappler on Monday, denied the allegations of supporting and facilitating the illegal activities at Zun Yuan. Guo is being linked to Zun Yuan as some documents found during the raid are under her name.

Guo said she welcomes any investigation by authorities, and she will defend herself at the proper forum, if needed.

Three days prior to Guo’s statement, a special task force was created by the Department of Interior and Local Government to investigate any administrative misconduct or neglect by the local government officials of Bamban.

Guo said the allegations are unfounded as the crimes of human trafficking, torture, and illegal detention are intolerable. She said she has been “unfairly persecuted” without real investigation.

“It is with great sadness and disappointment that I face the unjust, unfounded accusations hurled against me by a member of the Senate of the Philippines and PAOCC. I am certain that the good Senator and PAOCC are simply acting in good faith, on the basis of information that was given to them. Nevertheless, I deny in the strongest terms all of these allegations of criminal conduct – or at least, allegations that I have somehow aided and abetted the supposedly illegal acts of Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated,” she said. Senator Sherwin Gatchalian earlier said Guo might be involved in the POGO’s activities.

“Human trafficking, torture, and illegal detention are heinous crimes that I would never, ever tolerate, much less be involved  in. I must admit, these shocking allegations have disturbed my peace and have hurt me and my family,” she added.

In response, PAOCC said they will await the conclusion of the ongoing investigation on the alleged participation of Guo. – Rappler.com

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