China urges Philippines to punish casinos for mistreatment of Chinese
Published: Aug 08, 2019 04:47 PM
The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines expressed grave concern for Chinese working for Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), and urged the Philippine government to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens.  

The embassy urged the Philippine government to take effective measures to prevent and punish the Philippine casinos, POGOs and other forms of gambling entities for their illegal employment of Chinese citizens and asked the Philippine government to crack down on related crimes that hurt the Chinese citizens, according to remarks by an embassy spokesperson that were published on the embassy's website on Thursday.

The remarks came after Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGOR) vice president Jose Tria's recent remarks about moving Chinese working for POGOs to "segregated" communities or hubs.

The potential moves may infringe on the basic legal rights of Chinese citizens, the embassy spokesperson said.

The Chinese government always requires its citizens overseas to abide by local laws and not to work illegally.

A large number of Chinese citizens have been illegally recruited and hired by the Philippine gambling industry. In many cases, these employers do not even apply for necessary work permits for their Chinese employees, according to the embassy. 

The embassy spokesperson said that Philippine casinos and other gambling entities that target Chinese customers have severely undermined China's financial supervision and financial security, as huge amounts of Chinese funds have been illegally taken out of China, which often involves crimes such as cross-border money laundering. 

A large number of Chinese citizens have also been lured into illegal gambling in the Philippines, which has resulted in increased crime and social problems in China such as gambling crimes and telecom frauds.

Meanwhile, Many Chinese citizens working illegally for Philippine gambling entities are being subjected to what media reports have described as "modern slavery" due to severe limitations of their personal freedom. Some Chinese have been tortured, injured and even murdered, according to media reports. 

The embassy also urges the Philippine side to strengthen law enforcement cooperation with China to jointly combat gambling-related crimes including money-laundering, illegal employment, kidnapping, extortion, torture and murder. 

Global Times