POGOs could fuel drug money laundering: Barbers

Robert Ace Barbers, chairperson of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs has warned that the growing online gaming industry could be an avenue for drug money laundering in the country.

In a speech delivered on Monday, Barbers accused Chinese nationals of using Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) as a front for illegal drugs and money laundering.

“The Chinese nationals engaged in gambling-related crimes have gone too far in disturbing our country. They are into illegal drugs and dirty drug money laundering,” he said.

He said that the online nature of igaming means that transactions can “occur almost instantaneously and with anonymity.”

“Thus, the online gambling operated by the POGOs may even be worse than the traditional casino gambling operation,” he added.