BI to deport 1,318 overstaying Chinese in illegal online gambling
MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration is preparing to deport 1,318 Chinese nationals who were arrested at the Fontana Leisure Park in Clark, Pampanga last week.
This was after the agency found out that the foreigners violated immigration laws, including going beyond their authorized period of stay in the country and violating the conditions of their visas.
BI spokesperson Tonette Mangrobang confirmed that the foreigners apprehended last Thursday were engaging in an unlicensed online gaming business.
“The 1,318 Chinese will be charged for overstaying, working in violation of the limitations and conditions of their visa, and engaging in an unlicensed online gaming business,” Mangrobang said.
This was based on the results of the BI’s Legal Division’s investigation to determine the immigration status of the illegal aliens.
Quoting BI Legal Division chief Arvin Cesar Santos, Mangrobang noted that some of the Chinese nationals were found to be overstaying, while others violated the conditions of their working visa.
Earlier, the BI said 99 of the foreigners were found to have overstayed in the country.
Mangrobang added that some of the arrested Chinese nationals entered the Philippines as tourists.
“It appears that they legally entered the country but failed to legalize their stay here. They entered as tourists,” the BI spokesperson said.
It was still unclear as to who owned the online gambling firm where the foreigners worked and how long it has been operating.
Thursday’s arrest was the single biggest arrest of suspected illegal aliens that the BI has made.
The BI carried out the operation at a facility at the Fontana Leisure Park based on a directive from the Department of Justice and a tip that there were Chinese nationals illegally working there.
Mangrobang said that as of Tuesday, they had no information yet if the Chinese nationals colluded with any BI personnel.
The agency’s Board of Commissioners is deliberating on issuing a summary deportation order against the overstaying and undocumented foreigners.
The rest of the Chinese nationals who were not overstaying aliens will undergo regular deportation proceedings, during which they will be allowed to present their defense.
Mangrobang said the Board of Commissioners would then deliberate on the defense presented by the China, and then decide on whether to deport the Chinese. SFM
Subscribe to our global nation newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.