China’s Ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, has warned that the proliferation of crime linked to the country’s Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry are harmful to relations between the two nations.
Philippine News Agency reports that Huang issued a statement on Wednesday in which he reiterated that China firmly opposes all forms of gambling and will continue to take strong measures against it.
“According to the Chinese laws and regulations, gambling in whatever form by Chinese citizens, be it online gambling or gambling overseas, is illegal,” he said. “Crimes induced by and associated with online gambling not only harm China’s interests and China-Philippines relations, but also hurt the interests of the Philippines.”
Huang said he appreciated the efforts of local agencies in cracking down on illegal gambling operations after more than 140 POGO workers were rescued from two online gaming operations on Saturday, having been victims of kidnapping. Both POGOS – one licensed and one not – have since been shut down.
“It is appreciated that relevant Philippine law enforcement agencies rescued a number of Chinese citizens and shut down some POGO companies during their recent operations,” Huang said.
Seperately, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said Wednesday that around 280 illegal POGO employees have been detained in recent days and will be deported.