Chinese help desks during pandemic? PNP says these are old photos
MANILA, Philippines — Photos of Chinese police desks went viral on social media recently but the Philippine National Police said the help desks were already removed during the coronavirus disease pandemic.
“These are old photos of various tourist police help desks taken in previous years during the surge in arrivals of Chinese tourists and until early this year when the Chinese embassy sought the help of the PNP to address the rising number of Chinese nationals getting involved or victimized in crimes such as kidnapping related to POGOs (Philippine offshore gaming operators) and casino loan shark operations,” PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said in a statement on Saturday.
One of the photos of a Chinese police desk from Natividad Police Station in Pangasinan was recently shared online. The photo was posted publicly by the provincial police station in February this year.
Banac said that currently, PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) have maintained their help desks for Chinese in casinos to quickly respond to kidnapping cases involving Chinese tourists and workers.
To recall, PNP said it would establish help desks solely for Chinese as crimes involving Chinese nationals continue to rise in the Philippines.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa also previously announced the creation of technical working groups from both the Philippine and Chinese government which would study the frequency of crime incidents by Chinese nationals.
Apart from help desks, the PNP-AKG also announced in August last that it sent its members to China to learn Mandarin which will be used for facilitating police operations involving Chinese nationals. AKG said their studies were funded by the Chinese government.
PNP-AKG’s records showed that casino-related kidnappings of Chinese nationals were 36 in 2019. The number of kidnappings in casinos were 16 in 2018 while 17 cases were recorded in 2017.
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