Koreans nabbed for online gambling
ANGELES CITY, Philippines—Police arrested four Koreans inside the house they are renting in a subdivision at Barangay San Jose here on Thursday night for alleged illegal online gambling.
Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, who was present during the raid at Villa Angelina Subdivision, said that aside from operating illegal online gambling, the Koreans could also face charges of human trafficking for using Filipino women in their operation.
Police conducted the raid through a search warrant issued by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Ramon Pamular, presiding judge of the RTC Branch 32 in Guimba town, Nueva Ecija province, against one Lee Kyun Bo and five other unidentified people.
Police identified the arrested Koreans as Cho Rae Man, 41; Son Kwang Hyun, 32; Kim Jong Hoon, 33, and An Tae Young, 34.
They were taken to the Angeles City police headquarters in Camp Tomas Pepito in Barangay Sto. Domingo here hours after their arrest.
At the police station here, one of the female workers said she was not aware that what they were doing was illegal.
She said her task was to send as many e-mails as possible to entice people to enter a website that is suspected to be a Korean online gambling site. She said she received P6,000 a month from the Koreans.
Police found eight desktop computers, several passbooks, automated teller machine cards and credit cards in the house.
Foreigners have been charged in court for operating online gambling nationwide in the past. But not one has been convicted.
In January 2012, the Court of Appeals (CA) ruled that gambling in the Internet was not punishable under existing Philippine antigambling laws.
The ruling was connected to the online casino in the Clark Special Economic Zone raided by the National Bureau of Investigation in 2006. Foreign and local directors of the online casino were indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for illegal online gambling operation in 2009.
But after more than two years, the CA ruled that the DOJ committed “grave abuse of discretion,” saying the country’s antigambling law, or Presidential Decree No. 1602, does not list online gambling as an illegal act. It said that although the law had been amended several times, the amendments failed to include and provide for any penalty for online gambling.
“Well settled is the principle that ‘there is no crime when there is no law penalizing it,’” the CA said.
Then Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Chief Samuel Pagdilao decried the CA ruling, expressing fears that this might jeopardize efforts by authorities to curb online gambling operations.
Now a lawmaker representing the party-list group Anticrime and Terrorism Community through Involvement and Support, Pagdilao filed House Bill No. 4540, or the Internet Gambling Regulatory Act of 2014, which is pending at the House committee on games and amusements. Jun Malig, Inquirer Central Luzon