NCRPO ''concerned'' with rising casino-related kidnappings
The National Capital Region Police Office ( NCRPO) on Wednesday said they are "concerned" with the growing casino-related kidnapping incidents.
"Most of these cases happened in Metro Manila, so we are really concerned about this," Police Major General Guillermo Eleazar, NCRPO chief, said in a TV interview.
"While it's true that we have gained a lot of benefits from these POGOs (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators), rise in criminality, including kidnapping case is really a concern for us," he said.
Eleazar said out of the total casino-related kidnapping incidents, 68 percent of involved were Chinese.
Though it is only one-third of the total kidnapping cases handled by Philippine National Police- Anti-Kidnapping Group ( PNP-AKG), he said the PNP saw an increase.
He added that regular kidnapping cases has gone down by 50 percent for 2019.
"But surprisingly, for the casino-related cases, it doubled," said Eleazar.
"In fact, in our statistics not just kidnapping but those foreigners involved in crime, we have observed more than 50 percent increase from first semester to second semester last year," he said.
Based on AKG's data, from January to August, they recorded 19 casino-related kidnappings compared to 16 incidents during the same period last year.
They were also able to arrest 39 Chinese suspects, also higher from 16 cases last year.
Since 2017, they recorded 53 cases of casino-related kidnapping incidents and arrested 120 Chinese.
Eleazar said the problem with filing of cases is once the Chinese victim is rescued, they immediately return to China.
Also, after the incident in Pasay City Police Station, he ordered his men to be more cautious after they station was used by Chinese suspects to torture and filmed their victim which was sent to his family in China.
"This indicates that we are now focused on this... the NCRPO are trying to look for these guys (syndicates)," he said.
Eleazar believes it's not only one syndicate behind the abductions. They are now coordinating with casino managements and the Bureau of Immigration in their investigation.
"We on the PNP, we are only after the information we received and running after these syndicates. The immigration (authorities) should profile (these people) when they enter so these incidents will be mitigated and minimized," said Eleazar. Ella Dionisio/DMS