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Philippines Bureau of Immigration ups blacklist for illegal online gambling hubs


Authorities in the Philippines are increasing the pressure on illegal online gambling hubs, barring over 150 Vietnamese nationals from the country in the month of March alone.

According to the nation’s news agency, some 220 individuals from various nationalities were barred entry during the month, including 30 Chinese and 14 Indonesians.

Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco noted that the barring actions do not target specific nationalities but are ‘based on meticulous scrutiny of travel patterns and activities of individuals’.

Philippine Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco
Philippine Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco Courtesy: PNA

The official noted that authorities “leverage available data on past arrests and interceptions to identify individuals exhibiting similar travel behaviors”.

However, the action of barring individuals is not limited to those found to have committed crimes, as the foreign workers rescued in a raid on an offshore gaming operator last month are also on the Bureau of Immigration blacklist.

Some 57 Vietnamese nationals were among the 875 individuals rescued by law enforcement at the Tarlac POGO, with the Bureau of Immigration Commissioner noting that those individuals are effectively barred from any future entry into the Philippines.

In a separate statement, the Commissioner noted that the BI would not cease its large-scale arrests of illegal aliens in the country, noting “we encourage local government units to continue reporting to us illegal aliens that might be involved in illicit activities in your respective areas”.

The BI official also noted that regional intelligence units are “intent on locating, arresting and deporting these illegal aliens”.

Tansingco also noted that foreigners holding valid working visas but not working for the petitioning company, working for fake companies, or conducting ‘undesirable’ activities could be deported and blacklisted.

The Philippines has recently been working hard to clean up the image of offshore gaming operators, resulting in a drop in the overall number of IGLs (formerly known as POGOs). Despite the drop, Congressman Gus. S. Tambunting recently told AGB that the sector is still important for the economy, if the social problems thus far created can be overcome.

AGBrief Editorial
AGBrief Editorial
The AGBrief Editorial Team is a group of contributors living around the world that are connected to Asia Gaming Brief. They are active members in pursuing the sources of our news, making them reliable and accurate for our readers.