The Philippine National Police (PNP) has issued a warning to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) against withholding information on criminal matters involving their workers after three Chinese nationals were arrested on Saturday for kidnapping a POGO worker.
According to the Philippine News Agency, the Vietnamese-Chinese worker was kidnapped from an apartment in Makati City last Wednesday 18 November and transferred to Angeles City where the suspects demanded her husband pay a Php161,800 (US$3,350) ransom for her release. The PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group tracked down the suspects on Saturday afternoon.
No details were provided on the employment situation of the three men, who allegedly refused to give their identities and stated that their passports had been confiscated by their employers.
“I am strongly urging POGO operators to closely coordinate with the PNP on security concerns and to refrain from handling these matters on their own,” said PNP chief Debold Sinas.
The prevalence of casino and POGO-related kidnappings in the Philippines has been on the rise in recent years, with the PNP earlier this year revealing there had been 73 casino-related kidnappings in the past three years. Incidents had increased from 17 in 2017 to 16 cases in 2018 and 38 cases in 2019.