By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) deported on Friday 270 Chinese nationals arrested in recent weeks for various immigration offenses and crimes committed in their country.
BI Port Operations Chief Grifton Medina said the aliens were deported aboard flights bound for Xiamen, China which left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 10 a.m.
The deportees were escorted in their trip by BI intelligence agents, as well as Chinese policemen and Chinese embassy officials.
Medina said the Chinese embassy chartered three commercial flights to facilitate the departure of the deportees.
BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the deportation was ordered by the BI board of commissioners which found them liable for violating Philippine immigration laws. They were also blacklisted and banned from reentering the Philippines.
It was learned that the deportees were among the hundreds of Chinese nationals arrested a few weeks ago in joint operations by BI intelligence operatives and members of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
They were rounded up in raids carried out against establishments, hotels and condominiums where they were caught in the act of engaging in illegal online gaming and other fraudulent activities, including cyber crime and investment scams.
“Many of them were illegally working here as they did not bother to secure work permits and visas while others were allegedly overstaying and undocumented,” Sandoval said.
They also included fugitives who were wanted for involvement in economic crimes in China.
The Philippines has experienced a sharp increase in Chinese tourist arrivals in recent years, and many of these aliens have reportedly ended up working in online gaming establishments catering to foreign clients.