Gaming | Philippines arrests hundreds of Chinese for alleged cybercrimes

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.
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.
Even so, Philippines Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said this week he wants the main tax agency to shut down and file cases against online gaming operators that haven’t paid their dues.
Dominguez issued the order after finding out that the Bureau of Internal Revenue hasn’t substantially collected 21.6 billion pesos ($420 million) in income taxes.
The revenue agency has issued 130 tax assessments to companies involved in online gaming, an industry that’s estimated by property broker David Leechiu to be employing about 440,000 mostly Chinese workers. DB/Bloomberg

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