PAOCC files complaints vs. 2 Chinese nationals for human trafficking

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By JOAHNA LEI CASILAO, GMA Integrated News

The Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) on Tuesday filed complaints against several individuals in connection with the raided Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) hub in Porac, Pampanga.

Two Chinese nationals and 7 John Does were charged with violation of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons, serious physical injuries, and kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

The complaints were filed with the Department of Justice.

“Human trafficking. They put workers here from abroad to work in these POGO hubs by force and intimidation [through] whatever leverage or form of pressure, forcing them to do that,” Atty. Darwin Cañete, a prosecutor of the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, said in an ambush interview.

Cañete said the two respondents are currently under the custody of PAOCC.

Meanwhile, he said they could not yet disclose the names of the complainants.

“We are mindful of the fact that the accused or the persons associated with them may seek to either reach out to them through death threats or to relatives in China since the complainants are Chinese nationals,” he said.

According to Cañete, one of the victims was restrained in a bed and was detained for several days. He was also “subjected to inhumane treatment.”

Lucky South 99 Corp. was raided by the authorities early this month and rescued more than 150 foreign nationals.

They later discovered evidence of torture and kidnapping.

For its part, the Lucky South 99 Corp. has denied that illegal activities occurred at the POGO hub they operated in Porac.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation said that only one of the 46 buildings inside the Lucky South 99 Corp. was given the permit to operate. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News

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