Crimes linked to the casino gambling industry in the Philippines are on the rise. According to the figures released to the media by the Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG), there were 42 cases of kidnapping related to casinos and Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (Pogo) between January and November 2019.
Of the 42 cases, the Anti-Kidnapping Group has said that 6 are related to offshore online gambling operators and the remaining 36 are linked to casinos in the country.
PNP also confirmed that of the total of 42 cases, 21 have been solved. It said that 21 victims were also rescued and that there were a total of 40 victims.
In operations against the kidnappers, the police have said that they have arrested fifty-eight suspects.
The police have also managed to solve all the six cases that were linked to POGOs. In the media briefing, the officials said that 30 suspects were arrested in Kidnapping cases related to online gambling operators and of the nine victims eight were rescued.
Gambling And Casino-related Crimes On The Rise
The casino gambling landscape in the Philippines is marred by crimes including kidnapping and loansharking. According to experts, the majority of casino-related crimes are linked to loan shaking. The loan sharks are active and powerful and also have political protection making it difficult to conduct a decisive operation against the groups.
Lawmakers in the country have also urged the Duterte government to take pro-active steps to tackle the increasing gambling and casino-related kidnappings.
Earlier in the year in May, Senator Leila De Lima, urged the Duterte administration to sharpen the execution of its policies and programs in regards to kidnappings related to gambling.
Police Taking Steps To Tackle Casino-Related Crimes
The Philippines Anti-Kidnapping squad a special task force of the Philippines National Police (PNP) has taken a series of measures to combat casino-related crimes.
In August, the AKG announced to set up satellite offices to better launch its counter against the gambling-related kidnappings. The satellite offices are tasked with responding immediately to the complaints.
The AKG members also took upon the initiative to learn the Chinese language as the majority of the victims and even the perpetrators in casino-related kidnappings are Chinese nationals.