MORE THAN 2,000 illegal aliens were arrested by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) in 2019, a majority of them Chinese nationals involved in unlicensed gaming operations and other illegitimate activities.

“Since January a total of 1,836 illegal aliens were arrested in various operations conducted by agents of the bureau’s intelligence division in Metro Manila and other places throughout the country, while 421 foreign fugitives were arrested by the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU) during the period,” BI Commissioner Jaime H. Morente said in a statement Friday.

The Chinese, mostly involved in anomalous activities such as cyber fraud and unlicensed gaming operations, include the 300 arrested in Puerto Princesa City in September, 500 in Pasay City last October, and 342 last week in Quezon City.

The BI also said that its Mindanao offices reported more illegal aliens caught in the area this year, including those linked to terrorist activities and usurious lending.

“Some of those we arrested were not only illegally working there. They were also suspected of involvement in terrorism while others are wanted fugitives,” BI acting intelligence chief Fortunato S. Manahan Jr. said. — Gillian M. Cortez