20, including Chinese nationals, nabbed for selling produce in Divisoria sans permit

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday said it has arrested 20 individuals, including Chinese nationals, after they were allegedly caught selling produce in Divisoria without proper immigration visas or permits.

The BI said 17 Chinese nationals and three others who showed documents stating they are Filipinos were nabbed in a raid on Sto. Cristo Street in Divisoria, Manila on Monday afternoon.

The bureau said the operation stemmed from a complaint from local vendors in the area.

“We were initially targeting one individual but upon arriving at the scene, we saw 20 foreign nationals selling garlic, onions, and other produce,” said BI Intelligence Division Chief Fortunato Manahan, Jr.

“They were selling on the sidewalks, out in the open. They most likely do not have permits for their stores, nor are paying proper taxes,” he added.

Information from the immigration bureau said among those arrested were six females and 14 males.

The Chinese nationals were brought to the BI Detention Facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig pending deportation proceedings. The remaining three Filipinos were released.

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