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The Philippine National Police (PNP) said it will deploy police officers near hotels and casinos in wake of the surge in gambling-related kidnapping cases in the country.

“This is part of our effort to address the problem of rising number of casino-related kidnappings wherein almost all of the victims are Chinese and almost all of the perpetrators are also Chinese,” PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) spokesperson, Lt. Col. Elmer Cereno said.

Since 2017, the PNP AKG recorded 53 cases of casino-related kidnappings and arrested 119 Chinese kidnappers while there were 57 victims of the kidnapping and almost all of them are Chinese.

Cereno said the AKG satellite office will be set up in a strategic area in the southern part of Metro Manila where most of the hotels and casinos with a history of gambling-related kidnappings occurred since 2017.

“We will be deploying two of our teams in the satellite office. They would be tasked to immediately respond to all reports of kidnappings in the casinos,” Cereno said.

Aside from a putting satellite office, Cereno said they will also deploy intelligence operatives in all casinos.

“The deployment of intelligence operatives is part of our pro-active measures to address this problem,” Cereno said.

He said the victims are being lured by Chinese loan sharks to come to the Philippines for rest and recreation.

The victims would be allowed to borrow money that would be used to play in the casinos, Cereno said.

Once the victims failed to pay the money when they would lose in the casinos, they would be detained and tortured. The video of the torture would be sent to the relatives of the victims to force them to pay, Cereno said.

Casino junket operators, mostly Chinese nationals, through their agents, will also look for their compatriots abroad, as part of their efforts to target them for their illegal schemes, he added.

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