Philippine immigration agents, backed by troops, have arrested more than 300 Chinese for alleged cybercrimes, a week after a similar number were detained during a raid linked to investment fraud.
The Philippine Bureau of Immigration late on Tuesday said that 324 Chinese had been arrested in Puerto Princesa City on Palawan island during an operation on Monday.
“Aliens were reportedly rounded up in eight hotels and establishments, where they were caught in the act of doing their illegal activities,” the bureau said in a statement.
It quoted Philippine Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente as saying the detainees, most of whom appeared to be undocumented, would undergo deportation proceedings.
Morente added that his bureau would continue to root out illegal aliens, especially those engaged in “unauthorized online gaming activities, cyberfraud and investment scams that prey on unsuspecting victims who are mostly abroad.”
Authorities on Friday last week said that Philippine police arrested 277 Chinese in a raid on a gang wanted over a vast investment fraud that cost victims in China millions of US dollars.
Agents swooped on an office building in the capital, Manila, to take four suspects into custody in connection with the 100 million yuan (US$14.11 million) scam, but said they stumbled on many more “conducting illegal online operations.”
The nation has seen a spike in the arrival of Chinese tourists and workers since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in mid-2016 and immediately set about warming relations with Beijing.
The influx has had a mixed impact and authorities suspect many of the arrivals are working illegally in the online gambling industry.
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