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ILLEGAL DREDGING

7 undocumented Chinese workers nabbed in Zambales

/ 04:01 AM September 13, 2019

MASINLOC, ZAMBALES—Seven undocumented Chinese workers were arrested on Wednesday when they were found to have been involved in illegal dredging operations in this town, police said.

Police Maj. Jude Bryan Maguddayao, acting Masinloc police chief, identified them as Shao Shao Chen, Shinu Chen, Xie Yu Hong, Xiu Xiansheng, Zhao Yihung, Gong Yaan and Jiang Xin.

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Maguddayao said the Chinese workers were arrested inside a dredging vessel and a sand carrier vessel anchored in a pier here.

The police did not say who hired the Chinese workers or if they had Filipino companions.

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On initial questioning and verification, the Chinese presented their passports with tourist visas. They were found to be overstaying and working without proper visas or permits.

In Malacañang, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo called on authorities to ensure that the Chinese workers would be prosecuted .

“It’s an illegal act and therefore they should be prosecuted, that’s it,” Panelo told reporters on Thursday. “The local government of Zambales should take responsibility for that.”

The Bureau of Immigration said it was set to deport the seven Chinese workers.

“The arrested foreigners violated not only our immigration laws but also the Philippine Mining Act of 1995,” Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.

“They are seriously threatening [our] national security and interest by stealing our minerals and resources,” he added. —WITH REPORTS FROM JULIE AURELIO AND TINA SANTOS

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TAGS: Salvador Panelo, undocumented Chinese workers, Zambales
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