Taiwanese allegedly sold to POGOs rescued from kidnappers in Parañaque City

Taiwanese victim Wu Keng-Hao (right) after he was rescued by the police. Photo: Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group.
Taiwanese victim Wu Keng-Hao (right) after he was rescued by the police. Photo: Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group.

A Taiwanese national who was allegedly sold twice to Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) as a slave was rescued from his kidnappers yesterday in Parañaque City.

Members of the Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group rescued the victim, Wu Keng-Hao, from a hotel room where he was kept by his captors. Wu was allegedly wooed by a company, named Yinghuang Yule, to apply for a POGO job that promised a PHP97,000 (US$1,999) monthly salary.

Read: Senator Hontiveros alleges POGOs gave rise to prostitution, ‘menus’ of women on messaging apps

The victim arrived in the Philippines on Feb. 26, and was brought to a budget hotel for quarantine. Two days later, a group of Chinese nationals told him he had been sold to another POGO company, which allegedly paid about PHP225,000 (US$4,638) so he could work for them instead.

Another group of Chinese nationals then fetched him on March 1, and told him that he had been sold again to another POGO, named 3+7 Company, which allegedly paid about PHP225,251 (US$4,646) for his services. This led Wu to call his relatives, who reported his dilemma to the Taiwanese Economic and Cultural Office in Manila. The office then reported the matter to the police.

The police found Wu alone in his hotel room, and the authorities are currently looking for his kidnappers.

Read: ‘I want to go home’: Taiwanese trafficking victim cries abuse, alleges gov’t official ‘protecting’ POGO

POGOs have proliferated all over the country since President Rodrigo Duterte, who maintains a warm relationship with Beijing, was elected. Most employees of such companies are Chinese nationals.

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