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Kidnapping cases up in 2019 due to POGOs, casinos —police


The  number of kidnapping cases in the country is on the rise with Chinese nationals being involved in more than half of the cases, according to the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG).

A report in Unang Balita on Wednesday, citing information from PNP-AKG spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Jowel Saliba, said that 75 kidnapping cases were reported this year, of which 42 were linked to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) and casinos.

Of the total number, 27 cases were already resolved, leading to the arrest of 88 suspects.

POGO kidnapping usually involves Chinese employees who had ran away due to lack of proper compensation and benefits from employers. They are being abducted and forced to go back to work, according to the police.

On the other hand, Chinese tourists are commonly lured by loan sharks to borrow large amount of money to bet on casinos. Once they fail to settle their balance, they are kidnapped and tortured to get ransom from their families.

Last Monday, a Chinese woman who works for a POGO was abducted in Makati City. The police said it is not considered a case of kidnap for ransom yet because no money is being demanded so far, and the victim likely knows the suspects. An investigation is ongoing. —Dona Magsino/KBK, GMA News