Philip­pines de­tains hun­dreds of Chi­nese in casino raid

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

More than 1,300 Chi­nese cit­i­zens have been ar­rested in the Philip­pines for work­ing il­le­gally at an un­li­censed on­line gam­ing busi­ness, the im­mi­gra­tion bu­reau said yes­ter­day. China has ex­pressed con­cern over the raid at a casino-ho­tel com­plex in the north­ern Philip­pines and said Manila must guar­an­tee “hu­man­i­tar­ian treat­ment” of those be­ing held.

Some 1,318 peo­ple were de­tained dur­ing the raid on Novem­ber 24 in An­ge­les city, im­mi­gra­tion bu­reau spokes­woman Maria An­toinette Man­grobang told AFP. “A num­ber of them have been charged for im­mi­gra­tion of­fences, for en­gag­ing in gain­ful ac­tiv­ity at an un­li­censed on­line gam­ing busi­ness,” she said.

Those found guilty are likely to be de­ported, she said, adding that sort­ing through the doc­u­ments of all of those be­ing held would take time. China is “highly con­cerned about the de­ten­tion by the Philip­pine side of such large num­ber(s) of Chi­nese cit­i­zens,” Chi­nese for­eign min­istry spokesman Geng Shuang told re­porters in Bei­jing Mon­day.

China has called on Manila to han­dle the case “with im­par­tial­ity” and de­manded the im­me­di­ate re­lease of those who are legally in the Philip­pines. Philip­pine au­thor­i­ties must “en­sure the safety and hu­man­i­tar­ian treat­ment of all the in­volved,” they added.

Some of the peo­ple de­tained had ar­rived re­cently on tourist visas and oth­ers had work­ing visas, Man­grobang said, adding that they could still be found guilty if their per­mit was un­re­lated to their ac­tual line of work.—AFP

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