The crackdown on Philippine Online Gaming Operator-related crime continues as Philippine authorities bust an illegal POGO operation involved in human trafficking and potentially linked to local police workers. In response, the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will conduct a thorough assessment of Alien Employment Permits (AEPs) which allow foreigners to work for local gambling operators and companies.
The DOLE will scrutinize the 42,000 foreigners working for POGO companies and take punitive action against those involved in criminal activities, potentially leading to the cancellation of their AEPs or imprisonment.
The Senate has also proposed a blanket ban on POGOs, with Senator Joel Villanueva advocating for the prohibition of these companies operating with revoked licenses. Similarly, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian has called for the swift removal of POGOs from the Philippines.
AEP-related fraud has become a serious issue in the Philippines, with foreign criminals obtaining permits illegally and posing a significant internal threat to the country. Such fraudulent activities often involve illegal gambling, human trafficking, and gun crimes, sometimes resulting in fatalities. A recent attack, which resulted in two deaths and one severe injury, is believed to be linked to POGO-related crime.
Meanwhile, the Philippine government is actively working to exit the FATF grey list, emphasizing the need to address the rampant POGO-related crime.