By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - Philippines immigration authorities deported more than 300 Chinese nationals reportedly involved in telecommunications fraud, officials said Thursday.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) said it had deported 312 Chinese nationals who were allegedly part of a telecommunications investment fraud scheme, according to the official Philippine News Agency.
BI Intelligence chief Fortunato Manahan Jr. called the operation a success after the implementation of mass deportation, the report said.
"They will be deported today (Thursday), and we are very much thankful to the NCRPO (National Capital Region Police Office) for assisting us in this operation," Manahan was quoted as saying by the news agency.
Among 312 Chinese nationals, 21 are said to be minors who have been handed over to the Chinese Embassy. Five Chinese chartered flights will take them home.
According to the CNN Philippines website, the first batch of the 312 Chinese nationals has already left the Philippines with a chartered China Eastern flight. "The next batches will leave the country on Thursday night," it added.
The deportees were among 512 illegal foreign workers arrested by Philippine authorities on Oct. 9 and then were deported.
Those deported include nationals from Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
Japanese daily Mainichi reported that a group of 36 Japanese men were also detained in Manila for an alleged phone scam.
The Philippines immigration bureau has arrested around 1,400 improperly documented foreign workers, mostly Chinese nationals, in several raids since the beginning of 2019.