Public warned against POGOs

The Department of Labor and Employment is warning the public against the illegal recruitment being perpetrated by certain Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators or POGO here.

This was after the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation verified that certain Chinese companies were operating in the country as POGO without license, accreditation or pending application with its Online Gaming and Licenses Department.

In a report from the Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group, a Taiwanese identified as Wu Keng-Hao, went to the country on February 26, 2021, to work for an online gaming company.

Wu told the police he was lured to apply to work for POGO through a social media account of Chinese firm Yinghuang Yule, which promised a 13,000 Renminbi (P97,000) monthly salary.

Upon arrival here, he was brought to a hotel in Pasay City for the mandatory quarantine. He was later on kept in a budget hotel in Parañaque City and was turned into a ‘POGO work slave’ after he was sold twice to two different Chinese groups, identified as Yinghuang Yule and 3 + 7 Company, who are not authorized to operate as POGO in the Philippines.

The report also said the Taiwanese was only rescued by the police on March 2, 2021, after he called his relatives in Taiwan, who in turn sought the assistance of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. It was TECO officials who informed the PNP-AKG on the victim’s ordeal.

According to the PNP-AKG, the “slave trade” has already been the modus of POGO firms during the past years. Chinese or Taiwanese nationals would be lured through social media accounts and will be recruited as POGO workers. These companies would often compensate them less than what was agreed upon, and if they refused they would be abducted and then their families would be called for ransom.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III warned the public against unscrupulous groups, specifically those who promise to give attractive salary packages but have caused them serious financial and emotional problems.

To avoid being defrauded, Bello advised the public to be very careful in dealing with similar groups who are using social media in their recruitment activities.

Topics: Department of Labor and Employment , Silvestre Bello III , Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation , Wu Keng-Hao
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