73 casino-related kidnapping incidents since 2017 -- PNP | Inquirer News

Thursday 5th March 2020

MANILA, Philippines -- About 73 kidnapping incidents related to casinos took place over the last three years, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported Thursday.

At the Senate blue ribbon committee's hearing on alleged money laundering and other crimes associated with the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO), PNP Deputy Director for Operations Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said there were 17 casino-related kidnapping incidents in 2017, 16 cases in 2018, 38 cases in 2019, and two cases so far this year.

The kidnapping cases had a total of 80 victims -- 19 victims in 2017, 17 in 2018, 42 in 2019, and two in 2020 -- all of them Chinese nationals.

Of these cases, a total of 142 suspects had been arrested, while 22 cases had been filed. Seven homicide incidents involving Pogo workers were recorded in 2017.

Meanwhile, Eleazar said the PNP has launched 10 police operations against prostitution dens involving foreign nationals.

These police operations resulted in the arrest of 60 suspects, 59 of whom are Chinese citizens.

Because of these criminal incidence, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, in the same hearing, said the social problems brought by POGOs in the country is "not worth it".

"The fees generated by PAGCOR is less than one third of one percent of our economy, yet, all these social problems really point to the policy of stopping POGOs, because it is not worth what we see of adverse effects on society," Drilon said.

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