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Philippine authorities file human trafficking case vs “POGO Mayor”

Authorities in the Philippines have filed a qualified human trafficking complaint against suspended Bamban, Tarlac “POGO Mayor” Alice Guo at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The complaint was brought on on Friday by the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) and the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

The DOJ accepted the complaint against Guo, also known as “Guo Hua Ping,” and several others for violations of Sections 4 and 6 of Philippines Republic Act (RA) 9208, or the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003, amended by RA 10364 and further by RA 11862.

The complaint includes former Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC) deputy director general Dennis Cunanan, 12 officers and incorporators of three companies, and Guo’s alleged business partners Huang Zhiyang, Zhang Ruijin, and Baoying Li.

Philippines

Huang is a fugitive in China, while Zhang and Baoying are purportedly tied to a major money laundering case in Singapore.

The charges arise from a raid at the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGOs) hub Zun Yuan Technology Inc. in Bamban town in March this year.

The PAOCC presented two boxes of documents as evidence.

“Evidences surfaced, like her applying for permits for the former POGO from the local government, and her involvement in the lessor company. Her name also appeared in various documents found in the POGO compound,” DOJ Undersecretary and Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking chairperson Nicholas Ty said in a press briefing.

Ty mentioned that more cases could be filed against Guo and others as further evidence is collected. State Prosecutor Benjamin Samson, during the briefing, said authorities believe Cunanan is part of a “grand conspiracy.”

“We discovered Zun Yuan’s operation started with one corporation, Baofu, and then another was created. In one corporation, we found a document with Mr. Dennis Cunanan’s name. After compiling the evidence, we concluded he is part of the grand conspiracy to commit labor trafficking,” he said.

Philippines

With the case now filed, Ty stated the DOJ is processing the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) against Guo, hoping for it to be signed by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla next week.

“We can’t deny that anyone charged with a crime is a flight risk, especially with resources to leave the country. However, Mayor Guo and her representatives have expressed she wants to face the allegations,” Ty said.

Meanwhile, PNP-CIDG chief Major General Leo Francisco pledged to intensify efforts against illegal POGOs.

“In collaboration with PAOCC and other law enforcement agencies, we are strengthening our fight against these illegal POGOs, and the PNP, especially the PNP-CIDG, is united in this effort,” he said.

Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel is an online gambling industry veteran with over twenty years of experience in Europe and Asia. Equally at home in the Isle of Man and the Philippines, he started his career as a sports trader before setting up and running whole operations, and more recently focusing on the regulatory and licensing side of things in the worlds of fiat and crypto eGaming. When he is not writing about gambling topics, he can be found cycling around Manila and advocating sustainable transport solutions for a Philippines based mobility magazine.

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