More foreign fugitives nabbed in PH in 2019–BI
More foreign fugitives, led by Chinese nationals, were arrested in the country this year than last year, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said on Monday.
The Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) fugitive search unit held 421 foreigners wanted for rape, child molestation, illegal drugs, fraud and large-scale economic crimes in their own countries, more than double the 200 in 2018. Of the fugitives, 324 were Chinese. In September alone, immigration agents rounded up 277 Chinese in a raid in Pasig City for their alleged involvement in a large-scale investment scam that defrauded their compatriots of an estimated 100 million yuan, or more than $14 million. Most of them have been deported and blacklisted, Morente said.
“We cannot allow these criminals to use the Philippines as their sanctuary,” he said in a statement.
On Feb. 28 this year, eight Chinese nationals were arrested for allegedly running a clandestine online gambling operation at the upscale San Lorenzo Village in Makati City.
A team from the National Capital Region Police Office along with BI agents served a search warrant on a house on Briones Street, leading to the arrest of Li Chenchen, Hong Yu, Li Huimin, Cai Jian, Lei Chijin, Xiong Yaowui, Lin Yufei and Peng Cun. Only one had a working visa while the rest had tourist visas. In March, six Chinese nationals were arrested by the Laguna police for kidnapping and serious illegal detention.
Immigration agents also arrested last month 36 Japanese who ran a telecommunications fraud scheme that raked in an estimated 2 billion yen or $18 million from their victims, as well as 27 Koreans, 20 Americans, three Taiwanese and two British.
“These criminals are not welcome here in the Philippines. Many of [them] are part of international syndicates that try to relocate their operations in the country,” Morente said. —WITH A REPORT FROM INQUIRER
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