FOURTEEN Chinese nationals who stand trial for manning an illegal online gambling den inside a rented house in Cebu City has fled the country.

The tourists evaded criminal liability after they each posted a P24,000 bail.

Of the 14, only James Long pleaded not guilty during his arraignment last month.

Long’s lawyer told Judge Alexander Acosta that the accused fled the country after posting bail.

Acosta has instructed the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation to confirm if indeed the accused fled the country.

The Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor filed before the Regional Trial Court criminal cases against the Chinese nationals after they were arrested in an illegal online gambling den in an upscale subdivision in Cebu City last Dec. 13.

Prosecutor Venice Balansag found evidence to charge James Long, Zhou Zhizhong, Lin Yangshan, Yao Nana, Yu Yingzeng, Hu Zhijian, Lin Yumin, Lin Xiao Di, Lin Gun, Lin Wei Yi, Yu Ying Jie, Yao Pei Hung, Xu Yunming, and Chen Sudan with violation of Republic Act (RA) 9287 amending Presidential Decree 1602 in relation to RA 10175, or Cybercrime Prevention Act.

They chose not to undergo preliminary investigation and opted to face the cases in court.

They are allegedly operating the online Chinese lottery called “Bo Guan” and “Yongli International.” (GMD)