74 undocumented Chinese nationals nabbed in Binondo Mall raid
Agents of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Intelligence Division arrested on Tuesday afternoon 74 undocumented Chinese nationals selling retail goods inside a mall in Binondo, Manila.
Immigration agents nabbed the foreigners inside the 999 Shopping Mall along Soler Street in Binondo, Manila, BI said in a report.
The operation also led to the arrest of an Indian national caught collecting payments for his lending business.
According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, he ordered the operation due to persistent reports received by his office about undocumented Chinese nationals doing business inside the said establishment.
“The Philippine Immigration Act prohibits foreign nationals from working in the Philippines without a valid working visa or permit,” Morente said.
He stressed that foreign nationals are likewise prohibited from engaging in retail business, competing with small Filipino businessmen who will be deprived of livelihood opportunities.
For his part, Immigration Intelligence Chief Fortunato Manahan, Jr. said those arrested will first undergo a preliminary investigation by BI prosecutors at the Bureau’s Legal Division to determine their status.
According to their initial assessment, Manahan said most of the arrested Chinese nationals are either already overstaying as they entered the country as mere tourists or are undocumented at the time of their arrests.
Morente further explained that “foreign nationals with legitimate intentions are very much welcome to enter and stay as long as they are properly documented and follow Philippine laws.”
However, those who are caught abusing this privilege will be immediately deported and barred from returning to the country. /vvp
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