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20 foreign vendors arrested in Manila

 

By JUN RAMIREZ

 

Intelligence agents of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) have arrested 20 foreign nationals at a shopping mall in Divisoria, Manila, where they were caught in the act of selling retail goods to the public.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the alien traders were rounded up last Friday inside the 11/88 Mall along Reina Rehente Street, Binondo and later brought to the BI detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig City, where they are still detained.

Morente said the Chinese citizens will undergo summary deportation proceedings for working without permits and violating the conditions of their stay in the country.

He revealed that most of those arrested are mere tourists, thus they were not supposed to engage in gainful activity in the country.
“Philippine laws prohibit foreigners from engaging in the retail business in order to protect Filipino traders from being robbed of business opportunities due to unfair foreign competition,” the BI chief said.

BI intelligence chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. disclosed that the operation was conducted due to complaints received by the bureau about the presence of foreigners inside the said mall who openly sell retail goods to the public.

“We will recommend to our legal division the filing of deportation charges against them for violating our immigration laws,” Manahan said.
It will be recalled that last Aug. 14, BI agents raided the 999 shopping mall in Binondo where 74 Chinese vendors were arrested, also for allegedly engaging in the retail business.

The said foreigners are still undergoing deportation proceedings after being charged with immigration law violations before the BI board of commissioners.

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