By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

POGO RAID. Law enforcers find rows of mobile phones allegedly being used in scam transactions, during a raid at a POGO facility in Bamban, Tarlac on Wednesday (March 13, 2024). Authorities rescued a total of 875 Filipino and foreign workers during the operation. (Photo courtesy of PAOCC)

MANILA – Authorities rescued 875 Filipino and foreign workers during a raid at a Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) in Tarlac on Wednesday morning.

Operatives of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) and various units of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Northern Luzon Command implemented two search warrants issued by the Malolos, Bulacan Regional Trial Court Branch 81 at the office of Zun Yuan Technology Inc. in Bamban town at about 1:30 a.m.

In a statement, PAOCC Undersecretary Gilbert Cruz said the operation stemmed from a complaint filed by a Vietnamese national who was able to escape from the facility on Feb. 28 and a Malaysian national who sought the agency’s help, claiming that he was being illegally detained inside its compound.

Cruz said operating units were able to account for 371 Filipinos, 432 Chinese, eight Malaysians, 57 Vietnamese nationals, three Taiwanese nationals, two Indonesians, and two Rwandans during the raid.

The workers are undergoing interview by personnel of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group while personnel from the Bureau of Immigration will check the immigration documents of the foreigners.

Cruz said they also found “love scam” modus scripts similar to the ones found in previous raids of other POGOs.

The operation also yielded various firearms and mobile phones allegedly being used for scam transactions.

Cruz said the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group would apply for a cyber warrant to be able to examine the seized mobile phones. (PNA)