181 Illegal POGO Workers Arrested In Cebu City

The Philippine Police force has arrested 181 Illegal POGO workers in Cebu City for violating cybercrimes and gambling laws. 

The Xin Huang Jin Cheng Company operated out of a 12-story building in Lapu-Lapu City and were the target for the Philippine National Police-Criminal investigation raid. The Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Detection Group-Central Visayas (CIDG7) investigated and surveyed the enterprise for eight months before making the arrests. 

Since there were so many arrests, detainees had to be stored in the Barangay Zapatera gym after they were questioned at the regional CIDG headquarters. The Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office conducted inquests at the CIDG headquarters for security purposes.

Officials said that the Xin Huang Jin Cheng Company was listed as a business processing outsourcing agency and operated out of all 12 stories in the office building. 

The Philippine National Police stated that the operators did not have a Philippine Offshore Gambling Operators (POGO) license and were, therefore, operating illegally under current Philippine gambling laws. There are currently 60 POGO licenses that have been issued from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

PAGCOR is a government agency responsible for overseeing the gambling industry in the Philippines. In 2016 they started issuing offshore (POGO) licenses for Philippine-based operators. These operators can offer their service to anyone outside of the Philippines but not PH residents.

Philippine residents have access to legal gambling sites located outside of the Philippines, but the government only suggest using licensed sites for the strict regulations they must abide by to get a license. 

A few weeks ago, President Rodrigo Duterte met with China’s President Xi Jinping to discuss foreign matters and offshore gambling sites among other things. The Chinese President asked President Duterte to stop allowing offshore gambling sites to operate from the Philippines. President Duterte told the press that he was not going to stop allowing offshore operators due to the countries current economic situation. 

PAGCOR and the PNP have been cracking down on illegal operators for weeks. This is by far the most significant arrests to date, but there will inevitably be more.