Employees from online gambling operators in the Philippines have been arrested for their involvement in prostitution rings.
POGOs Caught with Prostitutes
In the last month, the National Bureau of Investigation has conducted three raids on prostitution dens that provide services to Philippine Gaming Offshore Operators (POGO) employees. Precious Hipólito-Castelo, a Quezon City representative, is insisting that authorities open an investigation into prostitution rings serving POGO workers. “It is alarming that there are facilities in Metro Manila that exclusively serve POGO workers, which really shows the situation of these workers building a community. in our country little by little,” he says. This has been an ongoing problem for quite some time. Most recently, people were arrested for running a prostitution ring at a luxury hotel in Pasay.
The suspected ringleaders were Liang Feng and Lu Fu Xing, and POGO’s Chen Xun Bo was also arrested after he was found engaging in sexual activity at the time. One of the rooms is said to have been used as a “visiting room”…In the other three, the clients had sexual relations with prostitutes. Customers are told to have paid P5000 for 30 minutes of service. Six women were rescued in the raid.
As a result, the two heads of state could face charges of human trafficking. This is just one of several covert operations by the NBI. Earlier this month, the NBI rescued nearly 100 women from a high-end karaoke bar in Makati that was used as a front for a prostitution business. It is believed that many of the customers are POGO employees.
Online Gambling Operators in the Philippines
If you are unfamiliar with the online gambling situation in the Philippines, POGOs are the companies that operate within the district to provide gambling services to expatriates. They have operating licenses from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). There are currently 56 POGOs in the Philippines that have received permits from PAGCOR. More than 138,000 foreigners are employed at POGO, and more than half have work permits. Only 17% of POGO employees are Filipino citizens.
“This is one of the POGO-related crimes. If you bring many of them here, these unions will take care of their needs,” says NBI spokesman Ferdinand Lavin. So while the POGOs bring valuable tax revenue to the Philippines, they bring crime. An investigation into this matter will reveal the extent of POGO companies’ involvement in prostitution rings.
The Philippines Report:
A report submitted to the Philippine Senate reveals a possible link between POGOs and increased prostitution and human trafficking. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has raided several prostitution dens dedicated to serving Chinese customers, mostly POGO employees. The report links an increase in prostitution to POGOs operating in Manila. Four Chinese nationals working for an unidentified POGO were arrested as part of an NBI special operation that found a Taiwanese national had been transferred to the company and later had her passport confiscated. And was sexually harassed. The report said: “The committee recommends the signing of bilateral treaties to protect
foreign women from human trafficking and prostitution, as law enforcement officials reported the Chinese Embassy’s lack of responsiveness when brought to their attention on the rescued Chinese women.”