Passports of Chinese citizens working for online gambling companies in the Philippines have been cancelled by the Chinese government in its latest attempt to clamp down on illegal gambling that affects the country.
Chinese Officials Step Up
After the news that China has acquired a list of Chinese nationals that work for online gaming operators based in the Philippines, the Chinese government has now cancelled the passports of its citizens on suspicion of involvement in telecommunication and cyber-fraud criminal activities, and these Chinese citizens will now be unable to leave the country.
“In order to crack down on cross-border telecommunication fraud crimes, the Ministry of Public Security of China has obtained a list of Chinese nationals suspected of committing long-term telecommunication fraud crimes abroad, who are classified as the persons prohibited from exiting China according to the Exit-Entry Administration Law of the People’s Republic of China”, Chinese Embassy, Manila.
The latest drastic measure shows the determination of the Chinese officials to cope with the continuous operations of hundreds of internet-based gambling businesses located mainly in the Philippines that hire illegally Chinese people to operate them, with the number of Chinese citizens working for POGO companies growing exponentially since 2016.
The gambling operators in the Philippines, as a rule of thumb, do not apply the necessary legal work permits for their employees or even involve bribery to officers from the immigration services in the Philippines.
Planning And Executing
In January, the Chinese government announced plans to push with its effort to combat illegal gambling activities that affect Chinese people and created a new Ministry, the Ministry of Public Security, and placed Zhao Kezhi as the Minister, with the main task to prevent capital outflows from the country towards cross-border POGO operators.
As any form of participation in gambling by Chinese citizens, such as online gambling, gambling overseas, opening and operating casinos overseas to attract citizens of China as primary customers, is illegal, additional efforts will be directed towards promoting the country’s Sports and Welfare Lotteries as the only legal form of gambling in the country.
Neighbours Must Cooperate
Despite China determination to tackle the offshore gambling activities that undermines its financial security, appeals to the officials in the Philippines to cooperate remained somewhat thwarted as the POGO sector creates a huge windfall of taxes for the country and the Philippines President himself is supporting the presence of such offshore operations.
Last year, China ramped up the pressure on all of its neighbouring countries that alledgedly host offshore gaming operations to target such entities and the result of it was the shutting down of the igaming industry in Cambodia, but Philippines President Duterte seems unfazed so far.