MANILA A total of 17 Chinese nationals working as vendors were apprehended in a raid in Divisoria, Manila, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported on Thursday.
The group was arrested on November 25 through a mission order issued by BI Commissioner Jaime Morente after receiving a complaint from local vendors on Sto. Cristo Street.
BI Intelligence Division chief Fortunato Manahan said the foreigners were selling produce without proper immigration visas or permits.
We were initially targeting one individual but upon arriving at the scene, we saw foreign nationals selling garlic, onions, and other produce, he said.
They were selling on the sidewalks, out in the open. They most likely do not have permits for their stores, nor are paying proper taxes, the BI official added.
Initially, the BI arrested 20 people but three of them showed documentation, showing that they are Filipino citizens.
Meanwhile, Morente warned illegal foreign vendors in the country.
Do not attempt to try to earn off the holiday rush through illegal means. Foreign nationals must comply with our laws, lest face deportation, he added.
The BI reported that the 17 Chinese nationals were transported to the BI Detention Facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City pending deportation proceedings.
The three others were released after presenting proof of Philippine citizenship. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency