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Philippines, China agree to work together vs crimes

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PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

THE PHILIPPINES and China have agreed to boost cooperation against transnational crimes including those linked to offshore gaming operations, the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the agency said Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin, who heads the PAOCC, met with Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, and the parties had agreed to “effectively disrupt and dismantle criminal networks.”

This will be done through expertise exchanges, intelligence sharing and joint operations, the PAOCC said.

“The strengthened cooperation between China and the Philippines sends a clear message to criminal syndicates operating across borders that their malicious activities will not be tolerated or allowed to undermine the security and stability of these nations,” it said.

It said the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines has been “actively collaborating and maintaining open communication channels” with its Philippine counterparts regarding transnational crimes.

The PAOCC has said Chinese nationals have been victimized by illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) linked to Chinese criminal syndicates.

Philippine authorities have raided POGOs allegedly linked to crimes including human trafficking.

Several lawmakers have proposed to ban POGOs, saying the billions of pesos in taxes that they generate are not worth it for the crimes that these companies have been linked to. — K.A.T. Atienza

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