Photo courtesy of the Western Command

Western Command (WESCOM) commander Vice Adm. Rene Medina has commended the troops who provided force security assistance to the Bureau of Immigration (BI) that rounded up 324 Chinese nationals suspected to be involved in cyber fraud and other illicit online activities.

In a press statement on Friday sent through the 6th Civil Relations Group of the WESCOM, Medina said the professionalism shown by the soldiers during the immigration raids was worthy of praise and admiration.

“You have greatly carried out your assigned tasks to successfully support other law enforcement agencies, such as the Bureau of Immigration. This is the true sense of professionalism and dedication of a serviceman. May it inspire you all to continue to work hand-in-hand with other different stakeholders in the government in order for us to be able to maintain the peace and security in the province of Palawan,” Medina said.

The undocumented and overstaying Chinese nationals were rounded up from eight establishments in the city on Monday, September 16.

The immigration raids, Medina said in the statement, is in close cooperation and coordination with the Chinese Embassy in Manila.

They were caught in the act of unauthorized online gaming activities, cyber fraud, and investment scams, preying on unsuspecting victims who are mostly abroad, particularly in China.

The raiding teams seized hundreds of laptops, cellular phones, and gadgets during the operations.

The operations, he further said in the statement, were conducted as an offshoot of intelligence reports from several residents and complaints from local officials in Puerto Princesa on the presence of many illegal Chinese workers in the city.