ZAMBOANGA CITY: Authorities here arrested eight Chinese for illegal gold mining in the village of Lower Sibatang in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.
The suspects identified only by their aliases are Xiaomin, 36; Dongdong, 39; Tangzihan, 25; Liu Gi Yi, 29; Chung Yong De, 27; Zhang Shu Kei, 24; Duan Guang Zong, 55; and Lui Chang Yin, 50.
Also arrested was Jennilyn Ramirez, 25, of Igang village in Masbate City. She works as a cook for the foreigners.
Authorities also seized the group’s two backhoe excavators and door mats used to filter out gold nuggets.
The arrests came following a report by locals on the illegal activities of the Chinese men.
Police forces led by Superintendents Glenn Dulawan and Michael Palermo, and representatives from the Bureau of Immigration and provincial and local governments headed by Richard Ligan swooped down on the village and nabbed the foreigners, who were all on tourist visa.
It was unknown if the Chinese Embassy had been informed on the arrest.
Just recently, police also arrested 11 Chinese poachers who were intercepted off Hasa-Hasa Shoal also known as Half Moon Shoal near Palawan province. The fishermen, who were arrested May 6, are facing charges for violating the Philippine Fisheries Law. Authorities recovered more than 500 live and dried turtles from the Chinese boat when it was intercepted.
Beijing has protested the arrest of the poachers and insisted the fishermen were well within the Chinese territory.