283 people are captured by PNP drive vs. “guerrilla” e-sabong operations.
In keeping with Philippine National Police (PNP) head Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr.’s directive to escalate the fight against online cockfighting, the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 has increased its campaign against the unlawful e-sabong operations, arresting 283 people in the last six days.
Brig. Gen. Roderick Augustus Alba, head of PRO 7, said in a statement on Sunday that they had also stepped up their intelligence collecting and information sharing with the neighborhood to go after the gamblers and e-sabong operators.
According to PNP sources, the illicit internet sabong also serves Filipino employees abroad (OFWs).
Alba claimed that during the six-day operation from December 5 to 10, almost PHP156,000 worth of wagers were also seized.
The regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Group made 40 arrests, followed by the Cebu Police Provincial Office with 42 and the Cebu City Police with 106.
“In connection with our strong campaign against online sabong, 109 cases have already been filed. Due to a presidential directive issued earlier this year, the operation of online sabong is already prohibited. Those who persistently disobey this order are being warned to cease or we will pursue you nonstop “Added Alba.
Due to pressure from the public over the case of 34 missing sabungeros and reports that some bettors, including police officers, were deeply in debt and even forced to engage in illegal activities to sustain their online sabong addiction, former president Rodrigo Duterte ordered the closure of the online sabong operation.
In the meantime, 83 collection agents were detained after PNP-Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) members raided an illegal online lending agency (OLA) in Manila on suspicion of harassing customers for failing to pay their debts.
According to the PNP-ACG, on December 9, some of the agents were caught illegally accessing the clients’ personal information that is uploaded online with defamatory remarks inside a building in Brgy. 497 Sampaloc, Manila, while others were captured sending threatening messages to customers.
The PNP-ACG was ordered to search for and seize digital evidence that was allegedly used by the loan shark organization in accordance with a court-issued warrant to search, seize, and study computer data.
Customers who were subject to the OLA, according to the PNP-ACG, were subjected to public humiliation and harassment, as well as threats and unauthorized access to their phone contact lists when they were unable to make timely payments.
The operation was carried out in cooperation with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Manila Police District, and Anti-Cybercrime Group, according to Maj. Ely Compuesto, chief of the ACG Team.
Although the holiday season is quickly approaching, Brig. Gen. Joel Doria, director of the PNP-ACG, advised citizens to stay away from such OLA.
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