Casino and gambling debt-related kidnappings and crimes have been on the rise in the Philippines. While the Philippine National Police-Anti Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) is battling with the powerful loan-sharks involved with casino-related kidnappings, it has announced to conduct a summit to address related issues in Quezon City this Friday.
In his statement to the press, AKG director Col. Jonnel Estomo said that the theme of the summit is “Strategic Partnership and Collaboration Towards a Kidnap-Free Philippines.”
Earlier in August, AKG 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.
The summit will see participants from various organizations including Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), Bureau of Immigration, Airport Police, Department of Justice, Department of Labor and Employment, Anti-Money Laundering Council, local government units, Philippine National Police and the Department of Foreign Affairs.
“There will be an AKG Summit Template, there new approaches and procedures, specific issues and problems, probable causes, interventions (programs, projects and activities), expected output and timeline on how to address the problems. And to craft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with different foreign embassies,” Estomo said.
Since 2017 the pOlice has investigated 61 cases of gambling-related kidnappings. An AKG spokesperson also said that over 125 foreigners, mostly chinese have been arrested in gambling and casino-related kidnappings.