Manila, June 27 (EFE).- Philippine authorities rescued more than 2,700 victims of slave labor for virtual casino portals, including hundreds of people from other countries in the region, the police told EFE on Tuesday.
The rescue operation took place Monday night during a raid on an office of virtual casinos, locally known as Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, in the city of Las Pinas, within the metropolitan area of Manila.
Among the victims are more than 1,500 Filipinos, more than 600 Chinese, some 180 Vietnamese, almost 140 Indonesians, as well as Malaysians, Thais, Nigerians, among other nationalities.
Virtual casinos have been legal in the Philippines since former President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016 and they are mainly aimed at the Chinese market, since gambling is illegal there.
In the last year, an increase in kidnappings and crimes linked to the activities of these virtual casinos have set off the alarms of the current government and public opinion, opening the debate on the suitability of these businesses.
Part of these illegal activities are forced labor or the pseudo-slavery regime to which some workers are subjected by the mafias that control the operators, mostly citizens from China.
Various organizations have warned in recent months about the sale of workers from Southeast Asia in slavery to centers operated by Chinese citizens, especially in Cambodia, but also in other countries such as Myanmar or the Philippines. EFE