MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Tuesday it arrested 15 Chinese nationals allegedly working in online gambling operations in Manila and Pampanga.
The Chinese nationals legally entered the country as tourists but later started illegal online gambling operations, the NBI's Cybercrime Division said.
Authorities added that the suspects were not able to show any franchise from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation when they caught them in separate operations.
The NBI operatives recovered desktop computers, smartphones, SIM cards, wi-fi routers and connectors, and other gadgets used by the Chinese nationals in the illegal operation.
All 15 suspects will face charges for violating provisions of the Anti-Illegal Gambling Act and the Cybercrime Prevention Act, the NBI said.
The Senate on Monday already launched an investigation into the alleged rise of illegal foreign workers, particularly Chinese nationals, in the Philippines.
Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval earlier said among factors that triggered the rise in the number of Chinese workers in the Philippines is online gambling.
Some 50,000 of the 115,000 alien employment permits issued from 2015 to 2017 went to Chinese nationals, including those working for Philippine offshore gaming operators, labor officials said.
-- report from Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News