In the wake of a raid on a business processing company suspected of illegal activities, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) have declared a review of licenses granted to Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).
Local media reports suggest that Colorful and Leap Group, located in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, may have subjected at least 1,090 foreign workers to harsh working conditions, forcing them to work up to 18 hours per day. The ongoing investigation seeks to determine if the company was involved in internet scams and if it employed victims of human trafficking.
DOJ Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano disclosed on May 6 that seven Chinese, four Indonesians, and one Malaysian employee of the company are currently under investigation by the DOJ for offenses such as human trafficking, cybercrime, serious illegal detention, kidnapping, and immigration violations.
The victims, hailing from various countries such as Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, were reportedly coerced into buying cryptocurrencies and transferring money under the guise of romantic relationships.
The company allegedly compelled male employees to pose as women to achieve the same purpose. The Senate is slated to hold an inquiry into the alleged human trafficking and cyber fraud activities that occurred at the Clark Freeport Zone.