Philippines arrests 277 Chinese accused of investment scam

There has been a rise in anti-Chinese sentiment in the Philippines, particularly the increase in the number of Chinese workers. (AFP)
Updated 13 September 2019

Philippines arrests 277 Chinese accused of investment scam

  • The Chinese government canceled the passports of those arrested, making them illegal workers in the Philippines
  • They would be charged and detained in an immigration jail prior to deportation

MANILA, Philippines: Philippine immigration agents have arrested 277 Chinese in a raid against an online investment scam syndicate that defrauded hundreds of people, officials said Friday.
The arrests Wednesday in the Ortigas financial district in Pasig city in the Manila metropolis came after the Chinese Embassy provided information about the fraud, which has victimized more than 1,000 Chinese, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said.
Morente said he initially ordered the arrest of four Chinese but authorities caught 273 other suspects “in the act of conducting illegal online operations.”
The Chinese government canceled the passports of those arrested, making them illegal workers in the Philippines. They would be charged and detained in an immigration jail prior to deportation, the immigration bureau said.
“Their presence in the country is a risk to public security,” Morente said. “These fugitives will be hunted, deported, and will be blacklisted, effectively banning them from reentering the country.”
China has been cracking down on crimes by its citizens in Asian countries, including in the Philippines, where tens of thousands of Chinese nationals have traveled to work in online gambling outfits, which are illegal in China.
Last month, the Chinese Embassy said many Chinese have been illegally recruited to work in the gambling industry in the Philippines, often without work permits. The online gambling and gaming outfits cater to mostly Chinese clients in mainland China.
The embassy said Chinese money was flowing illegally into the Philippines involving crimes such as money laundering and that many Chinese recruited to work in online gambling outfits were mistreated, with their passports seized, confinement and physical abuse.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation has stopped issuing licenses to offshore gambling outfits while contracts and security and legal issues are reviewed. The gambling regulator said the Philippine government has collected nearly 12 billion pesos ($235 million) in revenues from those gaming and gambling outfits from 2016 to last year alone.

LIVE: Trump, Biden push into crucial first 2020 campaign presidential debate

Updated 1 min 33 sec ago

LIVE: Trump, Biden push into crucial first 2020 campaign presidential debate

  • Trump and Biden arrived in Cleveland hoping the debate would energize their bases of support

CLEVELAND: President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden prepared to face off Tuesday in their crucial first debate of the 2020 campaign, the most pivotal opportunity yet for the candidates to outline starkly different visions for a country facing multiple crises.

Trump and Biden arrived in Cleveland hoping the debate would energize their bases of support, even as they competed for the slim slice of undecided voters who could decide the election. It has been generations since two men asked to lead a nation facing such tumult, with Americans both fearful and impatient about the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 of their fellow citizens and cost millions of jobs.

With just 35 days until the election, and early voting already underway in some states, Biden steps onto the stage holding leads in the polls — significant in national surveys, close in some battleground states — and looking to expand his support among suburban voters, women and seniors. Surveys show the president has lost significant ground among those groups since 2016, but Biden faces his own questions encouraged by Trump’s withering attacks.

Follow it live below, all times GMT:

02:25 - As we near the end of the debate, fair elections and the integrity of the election comes up. Trump calls the expected widespread voting-by-mail a "fraud" and says we may not know the result of the election "for months."

Biden tells Americans they have the power to choose the direction the US will take for the next four years, and whether they want four more years of Trump's lies.

QUOTE: “Show up and vote. You will determine the outcome of this election. Vote, vote, vote,” Biden said.

02:15 - The next segment of the debate moves onto climate change, Trump outlines his supposed achievements in the sector during his term in office, but the big takeaway is Biden saying he would rejoin the Paris accord on climate - which Trump pulled the US out of - if he’s elected president.

Biden also admits that he would not support the Democratic plan known as the “Green New Deal” - which critics have said goes too far and is too expensive - and instead says he backs his own “Biden Deal.”

02:05 - 

QUOTE: In rebuttal, Trump tells Biden: “In 47 months, I’ve done more than you’ve done in 47 years.”

01:55 - Trump goes for a personal attack, aiming for Biden's son Hunter for business dealing in Ukraine. Biden steers conversation away back toward coronavirus pandemic and its ravaging of US families, debate should not focus on his family.

QUOTE: Facing interruption from Trump and told to offer up his word, Biden says: “It’s hard to get any word in with this clown -- excuse me, this person.”

01:45 - When quizzed on his approach to the shutdown of the American economy, Trump quickly blames what he calls the “China Plague” for forcing him into the shutdown of a self-proclaimed “greatest economy ever built”...



01:35 - Trump is asked to qualify why the American public should trust him on COVID-19 - Biden uses his segment to say that Trump could not be trusted, and that the public's trust should be placed in the scientists. Trump asserts that Biden would have "lost way more people" had he been in power.

QUOTESTrump to Biden: “You didn't think we should've closed our country (to China) because you thought it was terrible... We've done a great job. But I tell you, Joe, you could never have done the job we've done. You don't have it in your blood.”

01:25 - As Trump takes a question regarding his policy on healthcare, the segment descends into a shouting match between the two candidates - who throw insults at each other - but the thrust of Trump's argument is "Obama-care doesn't work, and is too expensive to run." Biden ends the segment by saying "Keep yapping, man..."

QUOTES: Biden, told by Trump that he has adopted former Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders “socialized medicine” proposals: “Everybody here knows he's a liar ... you picked the wrong guy on the wrong night at the wrong time.”

“Folks, do you have any idea what this clown's doing? I tell you what, he is not for anybody needing healthcare.” After Trump explains his health proposal, Biden says: “He has no plan for healthcare. ... The fact is this man has no idea what he's talking about.”

01:15 - Trump fields his first question and it regards his Supreme Court nomination - in an election year - of Amy Coney Barrett. Trump justifies the nomination - saying “elections have consequences,” and saying Barrett would be “as good as anybody that has served on that court. We won the election, and therefore we have the right to choose her.”

Biden responds by saying results of the upcoming election should determine who nominates the justice to fill the seat of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “We should wait and see what the outcome of this election is,” Biden said.

01:05 - With both candidates on stage, we're under way...

01:00 - With the First Lady Melania Trump and the rest of the Trump family in place, moderator Chris Wallace of FOX News lays down the ground rules of the debate. Seconds away...

00:45 - We are minutes away as Trump and Biden are all set for the much anticipated first  presidential debate. Millions across America are on the edge of their seats...

*With Agencies