THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has said that 10 more Chinese nationals who escaped after getting arrested earlier for illegally operating an online gaming business inside a casino in Clark, Pampanga, have returned.
BI spokesperson Atty. Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said that as of yesterday, only 16 of the 57 Chinese who left their holding facility at the convention center of the Club Fontana Hotel remain unaccounted for.
An appeal was made by the BI for the 16 Chinese nationals who remain scot-free to return to BI custody so that their cases can be resolved with dispatch in the ongoing deportation proceedings, adding that those who returned gave the same reasons for their escape: they could not withstand the conditions in the holding facility and that they wanted to return to the comfort of their villas, take a bath and sleep in their bedrooms. She also said the escapees denied allegations that they bribed their guards or gave money to anyone to help them escape.
Reports have it that the total of arrested Chinese workers numbered 1,316 contrary to the 1,240 stated by the BI and that 70, not only 57, also as claimed by the BI, actually escaped detention.
It was also reported that some of the arrested Chinese offered P100,000 to P250,000 bribe for their release.
Meanwhile, the investigating panel tasked to look into the matter convened yesterday.
The Chinese escapees who remain at large were identified as Song Yun Zheng, Fang Qing Yong, Song Ye, Huang Jian Hui, Huang Zhen Zhi, Huang Long Bao, Zhao Di, Liu Moi Hui, Yu Chang Ung, Huang Wei Sen, Li Fei Yun, Cheng Rong Quan, Huang Yong Cheng, Huang Wei Bin, Chen Quean Qing and Chen Han Xiang.
It was learned that the other escapees who earlier surrendered were persuaded by Chinese Embassy officials and their managers to return to their holding facility.
Of the Chinese nationals arrested during the November 24 raid at the Fontana casino, 592 were already allowed to post bail by the BI. They were granted temporary freedom while the deportation cases against them are being heard by the BI board of commissioners whose members found that there are no indications that the 592 are a threat to public safety and their temporary liberty is consistent with BI’s objective of decongesting the temporary detention facility.