Authorities bust illegal POGO in Makati condominium
MANILA, Philippines — Authorities have uncovered the illegal operation of a Philippine online gambling operator (POGO) in a Makati City condominium, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) said Wednesday.
According to NCRPO, its Regional Support Units, Southern Police District, Philippine National Police, Makati City Police, and Makati City Business Permits and Licensing Office raided the POGO located at the 4th floor of a condominium in Barangay Olympia since its operation during an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is prohibited. The raid was held 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Metro Manila remains under ECQ until May 15.
Arrested during the raid were 63 Chinese and 13 Filipinos, police said.
NCRPO Public Information Office chief Major Britz Estadilla said their Regional Special Operation Group has been conducting surveillance in the area for over two weeks, acting on a tip from a confidential informant, and found out the POGO workers use the entire 4th floor of the condominium as both residence and workplace.
A certain Xiao Bao is the alleged owner of the POGO and he remains at large, NCRPO said.
But NCRPO also said they seized 75 laptops, 13 keyboards and mouse, 414 cellphones, 51 internet modems, 11 Chinese passports, 23 IDs, cash worth P115,200, six computer cable and wires, 42 adaptors, check booklet, three small boxes containing load cards, two computer monitors, one speaker, 126 Chinese Yuan and US$16 during the raid.
The 76 suspects were detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City, and would face cases in violation of various laws, including Article 15 of the Revised Penal Code or Resistance and Disobedience to A Person in Authority, Republic Act 9287, and Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.
Tuesday’s raid in Makati City was conducted after the government said POGOs will be allowed to partially operate despite the prevailing strict quarantine provided that they meet certain requirements and follow strict health protocols.
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