Chinese embassy seeks PNP help vs kidnappings
MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese embassy in Manila on Tuesday said it has brought to the attention of the Philippine National Police the recent spate of kidnappings involving Chinese nationals preying on their compatriots.
The embassy said PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar and Wang Xiaohong, executive vice minister of China’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS), had met online and “expressed their concerns that there have been [an] increasing number of kidnapping cases against Chinese nationals recently in the Philippines.”
The two officials agreed to intensify coordination and improve the “mutual trust” between Chinese and Philippine authorities as they tackle the problem of kidnapping and other transnational crimes, such as drug trafficking, gambling and internet scams, it added.
“[The] MPS and PNP are strengthening mutual cooperation in clues investigation, information sharing and case transfer so as to strengthen joint efforts to crack down on such crimes,” the embassy said.
Eleazar said the Chinese government had offered help in tracking down its citizens behind the kidnapping of their compatriots and other illegal activities.
“All we have to do is request [the] information and data that we would need in our investigation,” he said in a phone interview. “What the [embassy] requested was for us to conduct [the] investigation and resolve the kidnapping of the Chinese citizens since they cannot do it on their own here in our country.”
According to records by the PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG), there has been a rise in kidnappings and other crimes involving Chinese nationals since 2017. These crimes have persisted even with the country battling the pandemic.
On June 18, police arrested five Chinese and their suspected Filipino accomplice in the kidnapping of a 23-year-old Chinese man in Tambo, Parañaque City.
Police said the target was an employee of one of the local online gambling hubs known as Pogos or Philippine offshore gaming operators.
The victim allegedly failed to settle some P750,000 in gambling debts to the suspects.
Earlier in June, two alleged members of a kidnap-for-ransom group preying on Chinese Pogo workers were killed in a gunfight with agents of the PNP-Anti-Carnapping Unit near the Silangan exit of the South Luzon Expressway in Cabuyao City, Laguna.
Brig. Gen. Rudolph Dimas, PNP-AKG chief, confirmed that most kidnappings were related to Pogo activities, adding that “other cases were due to unpaid debts.”
“Since casinos are closed [amid the pandemic], we have no casino-related cases [at present],” Dimas said.
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