Kidnappings related to casino and gambling debts have been on the rise in the Philippines. Philippine National Police’s anti-kidnapping brigade, AKG has announced to set up satellite offices in key areas to curb the menace of casino-related kidnappings, reports the Manila Bulletin.
“We will be deploying two of our teams in the satellite office. They will be tasked to immediately respond to all reports of kidnappings in the casinos,” said AKG director Col. Jonnel Estomo.
“This is part of our effort to address the problem of the rising number of casino-related kidnappings wherein almost all of the victims are Chinese and almost all of the perpetrators are also Chinese,” he added.
The official data suggest that 53 casino-related cases were reported since 2017. Moreover, the majority of victims in the casino and gambling-related kidnappings have been Chinese. Also, most of the Kidnappings were carried out by loan sharks who would prey upon the gamblers who borrowed money to wager at Philippine casinos.
According to the official data, over 100 Chinese loan sharks have been arrested and charged since 2017.
The AKG blamed the increase in the number of casino-related kidnappings to the increase in the number of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) in the country that currently employs more than 200,000 Chinese.
“The deployment of intelligence operatives is part of our proactive measures to address this problem,” said Cereno.