The Bureau of Immigration (BI) arrested 510 foreigners for violating Philippine immigration laws in 2020.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the errant foreigners were arrested in various enforcement operations conducted by agents from the BI Intelligence Division in various places of the country.
Morente said the bulk of those arrested were Chinese nationals who were rounded up after being caught in the act of engaging in illegal online gaming and cybercrime activities.
The BI chief, however, bared that the number of illegal aliens arrested last year was significantly lower than the more than 2,000 foreigners apprehended in 2019.
“Because of the pandemic and community quarantines imposed, there was a decrease in the movement of aliens and lots of them joined repatriation,” said Morente.
According to BI Intelligence chief Fortunato Manahan Jr., among those arrested were 332 Chinese in Tarlac last December for illegally working in the country and involvement in cybercrimes.
Manahan also cited the arrest of 14 Indians in General Santos City on Feb. 4 and 30 of their compatriots in Quezon City last March also for allegedly overstaying and being improperly documented.
Arrested in two operations in February and March last year, Manahan added, were 14 South Korean and two Vietnamese nationals who were caught without permits and engaging in underground economy.
It was learned that BI agents also assisted military intelligence operatives in catching suspected foreign terrorists in Mindanao, including the Indonesian wife of a suicide bomber who was arrested in Jolo, Sulu last October.