The Bureau of Immigration has deported 75 Chinese nationals who were arrested eight months ago for involvement in illegal online gaming operations in the country.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the Chinese nationals left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, aboard a chartered plane bound for Zhengzhou, China.
Morente said the Chinese embassy arranged the departure of the aliens who had been detained since their arrest in December 2019 but whose deportation was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"They were expelled pursuant to a summary deportation order issued against them by our Board of Commissioners for violating our immigration laws and being undesirable aliens," the BI Chief said, adding the deportees will be prosecuted in China where they have been charged with economic crimes.
Morente also said that the deportees were placed in the immigration blacklist to prevent them from re-entering the Philippines.
According to BI Intelligence Chief Fortunato Manahan Jr., the 75 deportees were among the more than 300 Chinese nationals arrested last December 2019 by joint operatives of the BI Intelligence Division and Quezon City Police District at their rented offices inside a building along North EDSA in Bago Bantay, Quezon City.
Manahan said the Chinese nationals violated the conditions of their stay as tourists for working without proper work permits and engaging in unauthorized online gaming operations.
"Chinese authorities said that they were engaged in cybercrime activities and investment scams that victimized many of their compatriots in China," Manahan added.
All of the deportees are undocumented aliens as their passports had already been cancelled by the Chinese government.