CIDG nabs 'big boss' of raided illegal Pogo in Porac

Mabalacat, Pampanga.
Mabalacat, Pampanga.Google Maps

THE Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has arrested a Chinese national who served as a “big boss” in the raided illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo) in Porac, Pampanga.

In a press conference, CIDG Director Major General Leo Francisco said on Thursday evening, June 27, 2024, that they conducted a raid through the service of a search warrant covering five villas at the Fontana Leisure Resort and Casino in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

He said this stemmed from information that several individuals, particularly Chinese nationals who escaped from the raid in Lucky South 99 Corporation, were hiding in the said resort.

Aside from the arrest of one of the “big bosses” of the illegal firm, who is now under detention, Francisco said they also recovered 14 safety vaults.

“We were still [applying] for the opening of these vaults. So that we can know what is inside of these vaults,” said Francisco.

“We have several personalities that we are looking for, including some personalities from Bamban and Porac raids. So we are not at liberty to disclose to you now, but rest assured, the PNP, through the CIDG and PAOCC, is continuously doing surveillance, follow-up operations with regards to these Pogos or scamming hubs in Bamban and Porac,” he added.

Francisco said they are continuously looking into the links between the raided illegal Pogo hubs in Porac and Bamban, which were earlier reported to have similar incorporators.

On June 5, at least 186 foreign and Filipino workers were apprehended during a raid at the Lucky South 99 compound situated in a 10-hectare property in Porac, Pampanga. 

Some of the rescued victims, Chinese nationals, bore torture marks in different parts of their bodies. There were also several foreign women who were sexually abused and being sold online through bidding.

The said Pogo firm, Lucky South 99, was raided and shut down on September 17, 2022, also for alleged involvement in illegal activities.

On Sunday, authorities intercepted a Chinese national who works as a manager at Lucky South 99 at Davao International Airport. She was bound for Jinjiang, China.

In March, authorities raided Zun Yuan Technology Incorporated (ZYTI), resulting in the apprehension of 800 employees, including around 500 foreigners, among whom were 427 Chinese nationals.

The firm was allegedly involved in surveillance activities and hacking of government websites, as well as human trafficking and money laundering.

The ZYTI was formerly Hongsheng Gaming Technology Inc., which was raided by authorities on February 1, 2023, also due to involvement in illegal activities.

Suspended Bamban, Tarlac Mayor Alice Guo, who is being accused of not being a natural-born Filipino, was among the incorporators of the property leased by Hongsheng, but she claimed she divested even before she took office. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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