MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday reported its operatives have arrested a total of 423 international criminals in 2019 who hid in the country to evade prosecution for their crimes.
In a statement, the BI said this number is 65 percent higher compared to the recorded figure in 2018.
Data from the bureau revealed that most of the arrested foreign fugitives were Chinese nationals.
Of the 324 Chinese nabbed by the BI, 277 were rounded up for their involvement in a large-scale investment scam that led to losses of more than 100 million yuan or US$14 million.
Last November, the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU) also arrested 36 Japanese nationals for their involvement in telecom fraud and theft, which led to losses of more than 2 billion yen or more than US$18 million.
The BI’s list of arrested foreign criminals also includes nationals from Korea, the United States of America, Taiwan, Great Britain, Russia, Sweden, Colombia, Australia, and Germany.
The BI said the arrested foreigners were wanted for various serious offenses including rape, child molestation, illegal drugs, fraud, cybercrimes, and large-scale economic crimes.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said many of the 423 alien fugitives arrested by the FSU were already deported to their countries of origin and are now serving their sentences.
“They can no longer come back because they have been placed in our blacklist of undesirable aliens,” Morente said in a statement.
“We cannot allow these criminals to use the Philippines as their sanctuary,” he added.
BI FSU Chief Bobby Raquepo also said they have been in “close coordination with foreign authorities to locate and arrest wanted aliens.”
The bureau vowed to intensify its campaign against illegal aliens and foreign fugitives in 2020.
“These criminals are not welcome here in the Philippines. Many of which are part of international syndicates that try to relocate their operations in the country. We will not allow this. They will be arrested, deported, and immediately banned from returning,” he warned.
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