Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced on Friday the arrest of 277 foreign workers in a massive raid of a corporate centre at Ortigas Center in Pasig City.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed that the aliens were arrested last Sept. 11 in an operation conducted by the Bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU), in coordination with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC), Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group (IMEG), and the Chinese Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
According to Morente, he initially issued a mission order to arrest four Chinese fugitives who are wanted by authorities for their involvement in economic crimes in China.
“We received an official communication from Police Attaché Chen Chao of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines indicating that these Chinese fugitives engaged in an investment scam that victimized more than a thousand individuals, and has an estimated cost of damages amounting to more than 100 million RMB,” he added.
FSU Head Bobby Raquepo further disclosed, however, that the operation then yielded the incidental arrest of 273 other Chinese nationals who were caught in the act of conducting illegal online operations. Said aliens were found to be undocumented. After verification with Chinese authorities, it was discovered that they are also fugitives from justice, and wanted for large scale fraud and investment scam in their country.
“Upon verification with the Chinese government, we found out that the passports of these fugitives have already been canceled, making them undocumented aliens,” Raquepo said.
Morente then assured the public that the BI is serious in its drive against foreign criminals who try to evade punishment and prosecution. “Their presence in the country is a risk to public security,” he said. “These fugitives will be hunted, deported, and will be blacklisted, effectively banning them from re-entering the country,” he further stated.
The case has been forwarded to the BI’s Legal Division for filing of appropriate charges, while the aliens are temporarily detained at the BI’s Warden Facility in Taguig pending deportation proceedings. BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION