By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced on Tuesday the arrest of 324 Chinese nationals allegedly engaged in cybercrimes and other illegal activities in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the aliens were apprehended in operations conducted the other day by operatives from the BI intelligence division who were backed up by elements from the military.
The aliens were rounded up in eight hotels and establishments where they were doing the illegal activities.
“They will undergo deportation proceedings for violating the conditions of their stay in the country and working here without permits,” BI chief said.
He added that there will be no letup in the BI’s campaign against illegal aliens, especially those who use the Philippines as a venue for illegal operations, particularly online gaming activities, cyber fraud, and investment scams.
The raiding teams, led by BI Intelligence officers Jude Hinolan and Charlie Bautista, seized hundreds of laptops, cellular phones, and other electronic gadgets.
“Many of them were not able to show their passports or any travel documents,” Hinolan said.
On the other hand, Bautista said a team of BI prosecutors was already dispatched to Palawan to conduct a preliminary investigation of the aliens.
BI intelligence chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. disclosed that the operations were conducted as an offshoot of complaints from local officials over the presence of many illegal Chinese workers in Puerto Princesa.