MANILA - The Bureau of Immigration has said Monday it arrested 421 international criminals, mostly Chinese nationals, in 2019, a 64 percent increase compared to the agency’s 2018 figures.
Of the number, 324 are Chinese nationals, “277 of whom were rounded up during a raid of their lairs at the Ortigas Center in Pasig City last September,” BI said in a statement.
Many of them were already deported and are jailed in their respective countries.
“They can no longer come back because they have been placed in our blacklist of undesirable aliens,” Morente said. “We cannot allow these criminals to use the Philippines as their sanctuary.”
The arrested foreigners were facing charges ranging from rape, child molestation, illegal drugs, fraud, cyber crimes, and large-scale economic crimes.
The 277 Chinese nationals arrested in Pasig were involved in a large-scale investment scam. The combined losses of the victims, who were also Chinese, amounted to more than 100 million yuan (P727 million).
Apart from Chinese nationals, the BI fugitive search unit also arrested 36 Japanese nationals who were wanted for telecom fraud. Their victims from the scam lost a total of 2 billion yen (P930 million).
Other fugitives arrested were from South Korea, United States, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Russia, Sweden, Malaysia, Colombia, Australia, and Germany.
Morente said many of the fugitives are part of international syndicates attempting to “relocate their operations in the country.
“We will not allow this. They will be arrested, deported, and immediately banned from returning,” Morente said.
Last week, BI reported arresting more than 2,000 illegal aliens. Many also came from China and were involved in cyber fraud schemes or unauthorized online gaming operations.