Casino kidnappings in the Philippines are becoming a serious issue. This week, the government announced that it’s ready to start fighting against these kidnappings. It comes just days after China warned its citizens about the dangers of the Philippines’s local gambling industry.
Today, we’re going to look at what measures the Philippine government is taking against casino kidnappings. We’ll also look at the state of this country’s gambling industry. Let’s get into it!
According to the government, there have been at least 52 kidnappings in casinos in the Philippines. Reports indicate that many Chinese and Malaysian gangs are responsible for the crimes. Now, the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) is announcing that it’s working to stop this issue.
This police force is conducting “intensified operations” against these kidnappings. Just last month, the AKG got a new director. Jonnel Estomo is now leading this group’s operations and is clearly ready to fight against major crime groups.
These kidnappings have been taking place in the Philippines for years. Back in July of 2017, 43 Chinese and Malaysian nationals were arrested for their part in casino kidnappings in the Philippines. Recently, China issued an official warning to its citizens about the dangers associated with the Philippines’ gambling industry.
The fight against these crime groups is being intensified after a Chinese national died falling from a five-story building while trying to escape from an online gambling company’s call center. These companies, called POGO’s, have been growing in the Philippines and actively target Chinese gamblers.
Elmer Cereno, a spokesperson for the AKG, recently shed light on how these kidnappings take place. He claims that there are two main methods that criminals use to kidnap victims. The first is by inviting gamblers from China into the country, paying for their accommodations, and loaning them money. If these gamblers are unable to pay the money back, they are held against their will.
Another approach is inviting wealthy Chinese gamblers to the country under the guise of an investment opportunity. These individuals are then kidnapped and held for ransom.
The AKG is aware of these tactics and is now fighting back. They are assigning agents to local casinos and other areas known to host illegal gambling rings. The police force is also posting wanted flyers of criminals associated with the gangs. Hopefully, these new tactics are effective in stopping casino kidnappings in the Philippines.
It’s horrible to hear about the rise of kidnappings in this country. Even with these crimes, the Philippines’ gambling industry continues to grow. Casinos are opening around the country and help to bring in millions of dollars in revenue to the government.
Not long ago, President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that his fight against the gambling industry was over. He recognizes the huge earning potential with land-based and online casinos and is now allowing PAGCOR to take control over regulation of the industry. Certain reports indicate that the Philippines’ casino industry is growing faster than anywhere else in the world.
According to the Chinese government, online gambling companies based in the Philippines are actively targeting Chinese nationals. Gambling is completely illegal in this country. President Xi Jinping is set to address the issue with Rodrigo Duterte later this month.
The AKG is ready to fight against the casino kidnappings in the Philippines. We’ll need to wait and see how effective they are in stopping these crimes. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on the situation over the next few months!
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