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Over 160 Chinese citizens engaged in offshore gambling in Philippines repatriated under bilateral cooperation arrangements

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A chartered flight transporting 92 criminal suspects involved in telecommunications fraud landed at Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport on September 11, 2023. Photo: Li Hao/GT

On Tuesday, the law enforcement departments of China and the Philippines once again worked together to repatriate over 160 Chinese citizens involved in offshore gambling in the Philippines, according to an announcement by the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines.

The development is another significant achievement in international law enforcement cooperation between China and the Philippines, demonstrating the two countries’ firm determination to jointly combat crimes such as fraud and kidnapping hidden within the offshore gambling industry, the embassy stated.

Chinese law prohibits all forms of gambling, including online gambling, Chinese citizens gambling abroad, operating casinos overseas and soliciting Chinese citizens to gamble. The Chinese government has always been strict in enforcing a total ban on gambling, according to the embassy.

The Chinese Embassy in the Philippines will continue to strengthen practical law enforcement cooperation with the Philippines, supporting the Philippines in resolving the stubborn issues related to the offshore gambling industry as soon as possible.

Also, on February 22, over 40 Chinese nationals engaged in offshore gambling in the Philippines were repatriated under the joint efforts of Chinese and Philippine law enforcement agencies, a follow-up action to the repatriation last December.

Multiple joint law enforcement operations have been carried out by the Philippine Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and other agencies since 2023. As a result, a number of suspects engaging in illegal offshore gambling activities have been under arrest. At the request of the Philippine side and with active assistance by the Chinese Embassy, successive repatriations have been completed.

Since the beginning of 2023, the frequent occurrence and significant losses caused by telecom fraud cases related to false investment and financial management have caused public concern in China. China and Southeast Asian countries have vowed to protect the public  from gambling fraud and related crimes through joint special operations.

To combat cross-border telecom fraud, police forces of China, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos also launched a special joint operation, with the aim of combating telecommunications fraud and online gambling crimes, according to media reports.

Global Times

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