BI: China yet to cancel its nationals’ passports

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    THE Bureau of Immigration yesterday said it has yet to receive a formal communication from the Chinese government on its reported plan to cancel the passport of its nationals involved in telecoms fraud and other illegal online gaming activities in the country.

    Immigration spokesperson Dana Krizia Sandoval said they have already communicated with the Chinese Embassy in Manila but has yet to receive a feedback.

    “Wala pa kaming official confirmation from the Chinese embassy in Manila (We have yet to get an official confirmation from the Chinese embassy in Manila). Most of the information we get are from the news though we have already communicated with the embassy about this,” Sandoval said.

    She said that if the reported plan of the Chinese government pushes through, it will not be the first time that this is being done.

    Sandoval said the Chinese government had in the past cancelled the passports of its nationals who were wanted in their country for telecommunications fraud.

    The revocation of the passports, she said, was done to speed up the deportation process of the Chinese.

    Sandoval said that in November last year, the BI deported 312 Chinese who were wanted in their country for phishing operations and other telecoms fraud whose victims were mostly located in mainland China.

    The 312 Chinese were among the 512 foreign workers from Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Indonesia arrested by the BI for various offenses.

    Earlier, the Chinese Embassy in Manila said it has obtained a list of its nationals involved in telecommunications fraud and working in the online gaming industry in the Philippines as part of its effort to crackdown on crimes involving its citizens abroad.

    “In order to crackdown on cross-border telecommunications fraud crimes, the Ministry of Public Security has obtained a list of Chinese nationals suspected of committing long term telecommunications fraud crimes abroad, who are classified as the persons prohibited from exiting China according to the Exit-Entry Administrative law of the People’s Republic of China,” the embassy has said.

    The announcement came as the Chinese government expressed concerns about reports on the involvement of its nationals in illegal online gaming activities and telecommunications fraud not only in the Philippines but in other countries as well.

    The Senate has been holding investigations on the entry of Chinese nationals working in the POGO industry allegedly given preferential treatment by some officials and personnel of the Bureau of Immigration.

    Several senators have also expressed concerns that POGO operators are not paying the right amount of taxes and over the rising number of criminal activities blamed on and related to POGO operations.