THE Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7 is facing a language barrier after almost 200 foreign nationals were arrested for alleged illegal online gambling operations in an establishment in Lapu-Lapu City on Saturday morning, Sept. 7, 2019.
According to CIDG 7 Chief Hector Amancia, they are doing their best to efficiently conduct the booking procedure of 48 females and 138 males, most of them Chinese nationals.
“We are looking for an interpreter, but we already coordinated with the Chinese consulate regarding the arrest of these foreign nationals,” he said.
Amancia said they are completing the list of the names of the arrested Chinese nationals so they can submit it to the Chinese consulate.
Investigators had to resort to gestures for basic information like names, age and date of birth to communicate with the arrested persons.
There were 138 males and 48 females arrested. And confiscated were 1,355 sets of computers, 1,314 laptops, and 4,850 smartphones.
“The documents of the arrested Chinese nationals in our custody are being prepared for us to be able to file an appropriate case against them,” he said.
Two of the arrested persons who spoke a little Tagalog and English helped, but they declined to be interviewed.
The CIDG 7 placed the arrested persons under surveillance for eight months. The company’s operations were ongoing for a year.
For now, investigators continue to collate dozens of pieces of evidence like computers, laptops, cellular phones and illegal gambling paraphernalia.
“They are engaged in illegal online gaming. Their front is customer sales,” he said.
He said there were no pertinent permits from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. The only thing the company had was accreditation for a business process outsourcing company.
The foreign nationals will face charges for violating Presidential Decree 1602 (Prescribing stiffer penalties on illegal gambling) in relation to Section 6 of Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Last month, the National Bureau of Investigation Central Visayas also faced language problems when it rescued on Aug. 2, 2019 some 34 female Chinese nationals from four Chinese nationals, who had allegedly sold them for sex. (JOB)