2 Chinese rescued in POGO-linked abduction; 8 arrested

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 04 2019 08:35 PM

MANILA - Two Chinese citizens were rescued Friday at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) from compatriots who allegedly kidnapped them in a case linked to offshore gaming operations. 

The victims, Zhang Jia and Wang Zhe, were rescued in a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) office at McKinley West in BGC, Taguig City. Their alleged kidnappers Chen Xingding, Zou Tian Cong, Gao Zhan, Yu Yang and Wang Jian Bo were also arrested. 

Three Filipino suspects- Pepe Mengullo, Welson Borlado and Jose Marlito Borja- were also taken into custody.

Police said the victims were promised a monthly salary of 10,000 Chinese yuan, or at least P72,400, to work at the Taguig POGO hub, which arranged Zhang and Wang's work documents.

"Ginastusan ng POGO 'yan, ng mga investors na Chinese sa POGO. Pinapabayad sa mga worker nila ang mga nagastos. Nagkautang sila sa POGO sa pagpapapunta sa kanila rito," said Police Lt. Col. Villaflor Bannawagan of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG).

(The POGO spent on them, Chinese investors in POGO. They paid for the workers. The workers owe them for bringing them here.) 

When they started working, the two were surprised to receive only 6,000 yuan per month, or about P43,000. They were also allegedly asked to pay for processing fees.

The Chinese suspects allegedly prevented them from leaving the premises and kept their passports. 

"The victims revealed that on September 16, they left the company. They decided to process their travel document in the Chinese Embassy," AKG spokesperson Police Lt. Col. Elmer Cereno said.

"When they were about to get their documents from the fixers, they were abducted and were kept captive and handcuffed by the Chinese suspects, while demanding ransom money for their safe release," he said.

The families of the victims reportedly paid the suspects 287,000 yuan, or more than P2 million in ransom. 

The Chinese suspects will be charged with kidnapping for ransom while the Filipinos will be charged with obstruction of justice.