Philippines Arrests Hundreds of Chinese For Alleged Cybercrimes

Andreo Calonzo

(Bloomberg) -- About 600 allegedly illegal Chinese workers have been arrested in the Philippines in less than a week after Beijing’s call for a crackdown on online gambling.

Some 324 undocumented Chinese nationals will be deported after being apprehended on Monday in the western Palawan province for alleged cybercrimes, the Philippines’ immigration bureau said in a statement Tuesday.

The agency also said in an earlier statement it had arrested 277 Chinese nationals last Wednesday for allegedly conducting illegal online operations in Pasig City in the Philippine capital, Manila. Those arrested are wanted for fraud and investments scams in China, the immigration bureau added, citing information from Chinese authorities.

Last month, China urged the Philippines to crack down on online casino operations catering mostly to Chinese nationals. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has said he will not ban the billion-peso industry despite Beijing’s opposition, as it benefits the Southeast Asian nation.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andreo Calonzo in Manila at acalonzo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecilia Yap at cyap19@bloomberg.net, Ruth Pollard, Ditas Lopez

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