Philippine immigration officers have arrested 1,240 Chinese nationals suspected of working illegally in a province north of Manila, the authorities announced on Friday.
“As of 2 a.m. our immigration unit has counted a total of 1,240 Chinese nationals arrested in the operation,’’ Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said.
He said the arrest took place at a leisure park in the Clark Freeport Zone, a former American airbase which also includes a hotel and casino.
“Our immigration officers have started conducting verification of passports of the suspects,’’ Morente said, adding that they were now being guarded by the police.
On Sept. 9, immigration agents also arrested 154 Chinese nationals for breaking immigration laws and for illegal online gambling in the Clark Freeport Zone.
The immigration bureau said the arrests were part of a sustained effort to weed out illegal aliens and undocumented foreign nationals with the help of law enforcers.
In 1992, the Philippines decided to shut down the U.S. bases in the country.
The U.S. Clark Air Force Base was converted into a Freeport zone, a special economic area with fiscal and non-fiscal incentives. (dpa/NAN)