AFAB clarifies BI operation against Chinese nationals

BALANGA CITY – The Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) issued an official media statement in response to the reports related to the deportation of 55 Chinese workers of its locator, Grand Innovasia Concept Corp. (GICC) last Tuesday.
Recent public posts and social media reports indicated that the convicted Chinese workers were involved in cyber fraud and other illegal activities at the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB), which resulted to their deportation.

The AFAB clarified that the said Chinese nationals are not involved in any illegal transactions at the FAB and did not have any criminal record in reference to the date of their hiring and arrival in the Philippines.

“There are also no illegal online activities at the FAB. The Chinese workers are legally employed by GICC, a developer which houses business process outsourcing firms that provide technical support activities for online gaming. GICC’s operation are all documented and allowed by the law,” AFAB Chairman and Administrator Emmanuel Pineda told the Bataan press in a news briefing held at the Bulwagan ng Bayan last Wednesday, April 19.

Pineda added that according to Bureau of Immigration (BI) OIC Commissioner Atty. Jose Carlitos Z. Licas and BI FAB One-Stop-Shop ACO Raymond C. Laynes, the Chinese workers that were questioned by the BI Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) have no derogatory record when they arrived in the Philippines and applied for the opened positions of GICC’s licensed companies.

This was verified with the BI’s CQSS database. Attached hereto are the analysis and verifications made by the BI. Thus, the 55 Chinese workers were not considered illegal aliens and fugitives when they started working for GICC’s licensed companies.

Last Monday, April 17, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Philippines issued a letter noting that there are 40 Chinese nationals hiding in the Philippines who are involved in cyber fraud and illegal cyber gambling crimes committed in China. The letter, however, did not indicate when the Chinese government issued resolution on their cases. Embassy of China Police Attaché Fu Yun Fei requested BI Commissioner Jaime H. Morente for assistance in searching for the said 40 Chinese nationals, whose passports were canceled only on 17 April 2017. Although only 40 Chinese nationals were identified by Mr. Fu Yun Fei, 55 foreign workers were nabbed by the police attaché and BI-FSU.

Pineda also said that GICC and the AFAB were not informed of the pending cases against the 55 Chinese nationals working at the FAB, as their passports were still valid on the day of their travel to the Philippines.

“They also did not have any criminal records reported by the Chinese government when they were hired by GICC. The issue of their deportation and detention warrants are purely matters of the Chinese government and do not have any connection with the operations of GICC and the AFAB,” Pineda added.

The AFAB and GICC also cooperated with the BI to immediately enforce the arrest of subjects for proper disposition under the Philippine Immigration laws, rules and regulations. —MHIKE R. CIGARAL