Pasay police in the dock over sex den
The chief of a police substation in Pasay City and all his subordinates were placed in the dock on Sunday after almost 600 people were arrested from an alleged prostitution den and cyberscam hub that operated right under their noses.
In a letter, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos directed Philippine National Police chief Gen. Benjamin Acorda Jr. to investigate Police Capt. Cris Antonio Cataluna and all the members of Pasay PNP Substation 1 as well as Police Col. Froilan Uy, the chief of Pasay PNP, and to “take the appropriate actions as warranted.”
Abalos issued the order after a raid on the building of Smart Web Technology Inc. at the corner of F.B. Harrison and William Streets on Friday night.
Smart Web is a Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) whose license was previously canceled by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. due to various violations, according to the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC).
A total of 598 persons, most of them Chinese nationals, were held by authorities on suspicion that they were engaged in human trafficking and online fraud operations.
“It is highly improbable to think that an entire six-story building essentially dedicated to criminal activity … could somehow escape the notice of the local substation commander,” Abalos told Acorda.
“The trafficking of human beings is a horror that we must stamp out. Any complicity by government agents in this modern-day evil cannot be tolerated,” he said.
According to the interior secretary, those who were detained after the operation, which was jointly carried out by the Department of Justice and PAOCC, were apparently victims of “forced labor” and prostitution.
During the raid, two Chinese nationals told the raiding team that they have been forcibly held by Smart Web officials, with one of them claiming that he was actually “sold” by another Pogo company for P500,000. INQ