Immigration (BI) Commissioner Siegfred Mison has ordered an investigation into the unauthorized release of 22 Chinese suspected to be illegally working in the country.
A statement from the BI said 21 of them claimed to have possession of Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) special visas.
“CEZA visas are company- and station-specific. Mere possession of this particular visa does not automatically absolve the holder of any liability under immigration laws. The company and the place of work must still be established in order to validate that visa is legitimately used,” BI spokesperson Elaine Tan said in the statement.
On July 21, 191 foreign nationals working as call center agents and online gambling operators were apprehended in a police operation at an office building in Pasay City.
However, only 169 were brought into custody for inquest proceedings.
“This matter is taken very seriously by the commissioner. He has ordered the concerned officers to submit a written explanation on the discrepancies in the number of apprehended subjects,” Tan said.
Fourteen of the foreigners were released after showing valid work documents. The other 155 were charged for working without permits and are awaiting deportation proceedings.