Pagcor orders shutdown of Las Piñas-based Pogo hub
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has issued a cease and desist order against Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) service provider Xinchuang Network Technology Inc. (formerly known as Hong Tai), effectively shutting down its operations in Las Piñas City.
The Philippine National Police said it could now hasten the implementation of the warrants following Pagcor’s order to shut down Xinchuang, which police raided last week.
Police Brig. Gen. Redrico Maranan, chief of the PNP public information office, considered the Pagcor intervention “a welcome development” as this would enable police units to implement the five warrants to search, seize and examine data and two search warrants issued by Las Piñas Regional Trial Court against Xinchuang Network, one of the 111 Pogo service providers accredited by Pagcor.
PNP units led by the National Capital Region Police Office and Anti-Cybercrime Group are on the 10th day of its raid, which started on June 27, at the Xinchuang’s self-contained hub along Alabang-Zapote Road in Barangay Almanza Uno.
“When we implement search warrants, it is imperative that no other activities are being conducted in the area, because we want the operating elements to have complete control of the situation,” Maranan told reporters in Camp Crame on Friday, saying this would prevent tampering of evidence and escape of suspects.
“It is the obligation and responsibility, not only of the PNP, but of all government agencies that are involved, so that we can ensure that our Pogo industry is clean from committing illegal activities,” he added.
According to Maranan, 71 out of 138 seized safety deposit boxes have been opened as of Thursday, as part of the inventory managed by the Anti-Cybercrime Group and witnessed by representatives from the Anti-Money Laundering Council and barangay officials.
A total of 781 have been processed out of the 1,239 foreign workers rescued at the compound during the raid on June 27. All 1,534 Filipino workers have already been cleared and allowed to leave the premises.
7 fugitives caught
Seven fugitives—four Chinese and three Taiwanese nationals—were found to be working for Xinchuang, and turned over to the Bureau of Immigration for deportation.
“Hopefully we can complete the profiling of the foreign nationals and the implementation of the search warrants in the coming days,” Maranan said.
In a statement on Monday, Pagcor said it has already issued a show cause order to Xinchuang “to explain in detail its defenses against the allegations being faced by the company and why the state-run gaming regulatory firm should not cancel its certificate of accreditation and authority to operate.”
Pagcor also ordered Xinchuang to stop all its offshore gaming activities pending the completion of the investigation being conducted by the PNP.
“We condemn all criminal activities that violate Philippine laws and human rights —regardless of nationality. As we have always said before, Pagcor will not hesitate to impose sanctions on erring licensees and accredited service providers,” Pagcor chair Alejandro Tengco said.
“Similarly, we will continue to cooperate with our partner law enforcement agencies to ensure that responsible and regulated gaming is observed,” he added.