Lack of papers delay booking process for foreign nationals nabbed in Lapu

By: Alven Marie A. Timtim September 09,2019 - 05:06 PM

The foreign nationals, who were arrested from an offishore online gambling company in Barangay Mactan Lapu-lapu City, continue to crowd the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7) office grounds.  | Alven Marie Timtim

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) compound now stinks.

Comfort rooms located at the Central Visayas office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG-7) and portable toilets that were placed outside have also started to clog up.

Food containers used by around 200 foreign nationals, who were arrested from an offshore online gaming company in Lapu-Lapu City on Saturday morning, September 7, have started to litter the CIDG office grounds.

Police Major Niño Lope Masdo Briones, CIDG-7 operations chief, said that the arrested individuals and even the police will have to bear with this kind of an inconvenience a little longer and until such time that they are able to complete their booking process.

Read More: Foreign nationals nabbed for offshore online gambling crowd CCPO compound

Briones said that the group that consist mostly of Chinese nationals lacked proper documentation that they could use to verify their identity, nationality, and the legality of their stay in Cebu.  The suspects also failed to present their passports.

“Pa iba-iba sila ng pangalan eh. First day ito ang pangalan nila.  Sa second day, iba ang ibibigay na pangalan naman. This time nag double check kami iba nanaman na pangalang ibinigay,” said Briones.

(They keep on changing the names that they give us. On the first day, they gave us a particular name.  The next day, they give us another name.  When we conducted our own verification, we also got a different name.)

Briones said they are now coordinating with the Bureau of Immigration and the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Cebu to verify the identity of the foreign nationals who were caught working at the Xin Huang Jin Cheng company in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-lapu City.

Read More: CIDG-7 busts illegal offshore gambling operation in Lapu-lapu City; nabs over 200 foreign workers

Briones said that they cannot just file their complaints for the violation of Presidential Decree 1602 that prescribes stiffer penalty on illegal gambling and Republic Act 10175  or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 against the suspects unless they are able to verify their names and nationalities.

Proper documentation was also needed before they could post bail.

While they continue with the verification process, Briones said they will also make follow up investigations on Xin Huang Jin Cheng company.  They are especially looking for data on when and how the company started its operation in Lapu-Lapu City.

Briones suspects that the company’s operation is a contributor to the influx especially of Chinese nationals here.

“Yung nakuha natin pang gabi,. Yung pang umaga allegedly ang pinaka marami umaabot ng 2,000 plus,” said Briones.

(We only arrested the night shift employees.  We were told that they also have more than 2,000 day shift employees.)

Since the CIDG-7 raid on Saturday morning, Briones said that lawyers and Xin Huang Jin Cheng company representatives have been visiting their office.  But all of those who came failed to present documents that would prove the legitimacy of their operations.

The company’s lawyers even insisted that they were also granted a license by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to operate online gambling, “(pero) wala naman silang maipakita na maayos na papeles yung mga lawyers.”

Briones said they are waiting for these lawyers and company representatives to present the needed documentation on Tuesday, September 10, so they could already go on with the inquest proceedings at the City Prosecutor’s Office.

Until then, the arrested foreign nationals will have to continue to sleep and eat their meals at the CCPO compound.

As of Monday, September 9, some of the foreign nationals have started wearing face masks because of the foul smell in the area that mostly comes from cigarette smoke and the smell of urine.

The smell also forced policemen who were deployed to secure the 200 foreign nationals to keep a 50 meter distance. | dcb



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TAGS: barangay mactan, CCPO compound, CIDG-7, cigarette smoke, foul smell, Lapu-Lapu City, offshore online gambling, urine, Xin Huang Jin Cheng company

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