Philippine immigration authorities on Friday rounded-up more than a thousand undocumented Chinese nationals during a raid inside a posh rest and recreation complex in Clark, Pampanga.
The arrest of 1300 Chinese nationals – and still counting – was touted by the country’s Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Atty. Ma. Antonette Mangrobang as the biggest so far in the entire history of undocumented foreign workers in the island nation.
“As far as I can remember, it seems to be the biggest,” Mangrobang said. “Our immigration officers have started conducting verification of passports (of the suspects).”
An initial report to Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente showed that the operation against the illegal foreign workers happened at 2 a.m., Friday inside Fontana Leisure Parks & Casino.
The Chinese nationals were caught in the act of working as call center agents/operators despite lacking the necessary working permits. It is not yet clear whether they are working for Fontana.
“Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) agents and designated IOs in coordination with DOJ Office of Cybercrime, PCSupt Aaron Aquino, RD PRO-3, PSSupt Sidney Villaflor, CD ACPO, PSupt Mario L. Mayames, BC, 2nd SAB PNP SAF conducted law enforcement operations at Fontana Leisure Park, Angeles City, Pampanga pursuant to MO No. JHM-2016-065 dated 23 Nov 2016 which resulted to the arrest of approximately 1300 (still counting) foreign nationals,” the report, which was obtained by CalvinAyre.com, read. “[They were arrested] for failure to present any immigration document during the conduct of operations and engaging in gainful occupation without the necessary permit. Subjects were caught in flagrante working as call center agents/operators in a cyberzone and in some residential areas believed to be involved in illegal online gambling.”
Authorities said the foreign nationals will be temporarily detained at Fontana Food Center, Clark, Angeles in Pampanga, where they will undergo booking procedures and have their mugshots taken. The arrested suspects will also be secured by elements of the Special Action Force (SAF).