MANILA - More than half of 510 illegal aliens that the Bureau of Immigration (BI) arrested last year were Chinese, the agency said Sunday.
According to Immigration intelligence chief Fortunato Manahan, Jr., 332 Chinese nationals were apprehended last year for engaging in illegal online gaming and cybercrime activities.
The number of illegal aliens arrested last year was "significantly lower" versus the 2,000 foreigners apprehended in 2019, said Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente.
Chinese nationals also topped the bureau's arrests in 2019.
“Because of the pandemic and community quarantines imposed, there was a decrease in the movement of aliens. A lot of foreign nationals also joined repatriation flights back to their home countries," Morente said.
Lawmakers have launched an inquiry into the alleged bribery scheme "pastillas" involving Immigration personnel and Chinese nationals.
Other foreigners arrested were 14 Indian nationals in General Santos City on Feb. 4, 2020 and 30 of their compatriots in Quezon City last March, both for allegedly overstaying and being improperly documented, said Manahan.
Fourteen South Korean and 2 Vietnamese were also caught without permits and engaging in unauthorized business activities, he added.
The bureau also said it assisted the military in catching suspected foreign terrorists in Mindanao, including the Indonesian wife of a suicide bomber who was arrested in Jolo, Sulu last October.
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