Philippine authorities have deported South Korean illegal online gambling operators while continuing to uncover more Chinese-run underground medical clinics believed to be servicing local gambling operations.
On Tuesday, Philippine media reported that Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials had detained a South Korean national who tried to fly home via Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The individual, 27 years old named An Byeonghyeon, appears on Interpol’s “red notice” list, an international “wanted” list for law enforcement agencies.
An is on the list because he and some of his former colleagues are suspected of operating an illegal online sports betting site from Manila from 2017 to March this year. The site, known locally as “Syrup, Milk, Butter, Sugar,” targeting South Korean clients returning home, led authorities in Busan to put the names of offenders on Interpol’s red list.
An was also arrested with stolen travel documents but BI officials allowed him to board the plane after alerting their South Korean counterparts, who arrested An as soon as his plane arrived in Seoul. If found guilty, An faces 10 years in prison.
(The timing may have been a coincidence, but Tuesday saw Korean media publish alerts from the state-run sports lotteries Sports Toto (pari-mutuel) and Sports Proto (fixed-odds), reminding bettors that all bets not offered by the state are illegal) and that patronizing these sites may result in penalties under the National Sports Promotion Act.
The Philippines is more accustomed to online KingPoker99 online gambling operations run by Chinese nationals, including 90 people who were arrested 10 days ago at a cheap motel south of Manila. Acting on a tip by concerned locals, the police confiscated more than 50 laptops, 100 cellphones and the equivalent of US $ 105k in cash.
Police continue to harass so-called ‘NOGOs’ – the POGO code game of a locally licensed Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator – along with disturbing signs that some Chinese-led operations are not only sneaking up on staff on tourist visas but also running underground medical clinics. to test these staff for COVID-19 while evading the radar of the Philippine authorities.