RESIDENTS of Bataan province are increasingly getting anxious over reported illegal gambling and smuggling activities in the Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) in Mariveles, among the “geese that lay golden eggs” inherited by Noynoy Aquino from Gloria Arroyo.
No wonder that local politicians allied with the administration are reportedly playing blind to such rackets inside the freeport.
The constituents strongly expressed their concern in wake of reports that the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), a government-owned and -controlled corporation, “authorized” Macao-based private company Grand Innovasia Concept Corporation (GICC) as a master-licensor of online gambling operators there.
Well-placed sources, however, have raised the issue of legality of GICC authorities to issue licenses to gaming operators, even as AFAB Board Chairman and Administrator Deogracias Custodio denies that the Chinese company is involved in gambling business.
It’s as clear as sunny skies that GICC is engaged in online-interactive gaming for international market in mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.
Custodio also has a difficult time explaining why the GICC headed by gambling mogul Xiajing Luo and Shirley Shinn is considered a business process outsourcing (BPO) company.
Instead of selling products or “tourism-related” services, these online casinos, which maintain offices at AFAB building, take bets from Chinese gamblers abroad.
We are also alarmed by insider information that the AFAB has indiscriminately issued work visas to Chinese of dubious characters to work as “online dealers” in these gambling establishments.
They take wagers on various types of online gambling, including slot machines, poker, blackjack and roulette.
Intended as a decentralized and self-sustaining industrial, commercial-trading, agro-industrial, tourist, banking, financial and investment center, the former Bataan Economic Zone aims to attract legitimate and productive investments and employment opportunities for the residents of Mariveles and other Bataan localities.
This is why apprehensive residents of the province are questioning Bataan Gov. Albert Garcia and his father, Bataan Rep. Enrique Garcia, why they’ve tolerated the alleged violation of the provisions of Republic Act (RA) 9728.
The governor, along with other local officials, even reportedly attended the groundbreaking of a planned GICC online casino center last December 16.
RA 9728, or The Freeport Area of Bataan (FAB) Act of 2009, states that AFAB would “operate on its own, either directly or through a license, other tourism-related activities, including games, amusements, recreational and sports facilities, subject to the approval and supervision of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).
These online casinos in the Bataan special economic zone are reportedly operating without Pagcor approval and supervision.
They are neither licensed by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO).
Bataan residents also deplored rampant smuggling of rice, crude oil and other contraband, saying Filipinos are cheated out of millions of pesos in unpaid taxes.
A powerful political clan is said to be the “padrino” of the smugglers using the Freeport of Bataan.
Alam kaya ito ni Gov. at ni Cong???
Korean yakuza has online casino
IN PASIG CITY, my undercover assets have discovered another illegal online gambling hub allegedly operated by the Korean Yakuza in the country.
The Strata2000 building in Ortigas Center along F. Ortigas Jr, Pasig City, across the local post office, houses not only online English tutorial center but also clandestine illegal gambling operations.
Headed by a notorious Korean gambling lord known as “Jeung Myong Su,” the Internet-based casino on the 14th floor offers premier slot machines, blackjack, roulette, video poker, keno and more, and rakes in a million pesos a day from its international clientele.
And just like the other unlicensed gaming I exposed previously, this Korean Yakuza casinos do not pay taxes to the government, a loss of millions of pesos in supposed collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
A very reliable source said this Korean mafia gives a very hefty protection money weekly to BPLO officials of Pasig so they won’t be shut down or be stopped from operating without proper permits.
Even the local police turn a blind eye to this Korean illegal gambling joint because authorities are on the mafia’s payroll, too.
Tsk, tsk, tsk… this country is really going to the dogs !!!
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