Tuesday, July 23, 2024
HomeNewsPhilippinesRaid on unlicensed Pampanga POGO operation rescues 187 workers  

Raid on unlicensed Pampanga POGO operation rescues 187 workers  

Philippine authorities have conducted a raid on an unlicensed offshore gaming operator center (POGO) in Pampanga province, reportedly rescuing some 187 workers, both foreign and Filipino.

This includes a total of 158 foreigners, including Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Burmese, and Korean workers, who were rescued along with 29 Filipinos.

According to the Philippine News Agency, the raid was initiated when the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) received reports indicating that people were being tortured, struck with a baseball bat, and kicked.

PAOCC spokesperson Winston John Casio also mentioned that they have a video allegedly showing a woman being forced to dance and being abused.

Expired POGO license

An investigation by authorities found that the operation, Lucky South 99, had been conducting activities without a PAGCOR license, as its license to operate as an offshore operator expired last year. The group’s application to operate as an IGL (formerly known as POGO) was denied by PAGCOR.

Authorities are now investigating possible lapses of local government authorities and the police chief of Porac town in Pampanga has been relieved of duty as part of the investigation in police’s failure to detect the facility’s illegal activities.

Division over calls for a POGO ban

The new raid highlights the attempts to clean up the offshore gaming operator industry – with a divide between those who want to ban IGLs (formerly known as POGOs) altogether and those who see the benefit of the licensed operators (who are not engaging in criminal conduct and under strict regulatory oversight).

Senate Deputy Minority Leader Risa Hontiveros believes that the executive session convened on Wednesday by the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations, and Gender Equality has bolstered her and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s call for a complete ban on POGOs in the country.

Hontiveros expressed hopes that the National Security Council (NSC) will present the discussions from the executive session to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., aiming for a coordinated approach among concerned agencies to address the issues surrounding POGOs (now known as IGLs).

Senator Risa Hotiveros, New raid on unlicensed Pampanga POGO operation rescues 187 workers  

Risa Hontiveros said that various concerned agencies, including representatives from the NSC, PAOCC, the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), and the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), among others, were invited to freely share updates on their respective investigations into POGOs.

Viviana Chan
Viviana Chanhttps://agbrief.com/
Viviana Chan is an editor, interpreter, and journalist. With over a decade of experience, she writes in English, Chinese, and Portuguese. Viviana started her career in Macau-based newspapers, where she became passionate about the region's social, financial, and cultural development. Her writing focuses on the economy, emerging industries, gaming development, political affairs, and cross cultural-exchange in the business and cultural domains. She is avid for news and eager to discover and cover stories that generate public relevance.

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