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Crime syndicates pretending as POGOs nat’l security concern: DND chief

MANILA – Crime syndicates pretending as Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) are a national security concern and must be stopped, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said.

Teodoro made this comment on the sidelines of Swedish National Day celebration and reception for Swedish Defense Minister Pål Jonson on June 7, the DND said in a news release Wednesday.

“The concern is that we should stop these syndicated criminal activities operating out of our base, which weaken our financial standing, our country ratings, (and) corrupt our society,” he said.

Traditional POGOs are commercial establishments involved in business processing outsource, Teodoro said.

“For example, there are legitimate POGOs where the bets and the payoffs are taken from other countries (such as) horse racing in Europe, (and) sports betting; only the matching of bets and payouts are done here but the bets originate (from) outside (the country). ‘Yung POGO na alam natin (dito sa Pilipinas) na operated to evade the ban on gambling in China, the bets originate here. So, may diperensya (The POGO we knew here, operated in the Philippines, to evade the ban on gambling in China, the bets originated here. So there is that difference),” he said.

Authorities have raided POGO firms in Tarlac and Pampanga for the past four months.

A POGO in Bamban was raided on March 14, with its workers allegedly involved in “scamming activities” and did not have proper travel documents, according to the Bureau of Immigration.

Meanwhile, the recent raid in another POGO firm in Porac yielded suspected Chinese military uniforms and pins, raising serious concerns about national security. (PNA)

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