5 foreigners nabbed in raid on illegal clinic

Evelyn Macairan, Nillicent Bautista - The Philippine Star
5 foreigners nabbed in raid on illegal clinic
A security guard checks the locks on a clinic along Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay yesterday. The clinic was shut down following a raid on Monday. The city government said the facility has no business permit.
Ryan Baldemor

MANILA, Philippines — Three Vietnamese and two Chinese, all medical practitioners, were arrested during a raid on a clandestine clinic along Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay on May 13 for allegedly performing illegal surgeries and procedures, including abortion, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said yesterday.

The clinic had three doctors, two Chinese and one Vietnamese, as well as a Chinese pharmacist and a Vietnamese nurse, according to the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC).

Vietnamese Trinh Dinh Sang, 29; Nguyen Duy Quynh, 67, and Pham Thi Nhu Hieu, 28; and Chinese Xie Jun, 36; and Zhai Jian Gang, 43, are being detained at the BI’s facility in Taguig pending the resolution of a deportation case filed against them.

Sang was the target of the BI’s operation after the bureau received information he was allegedly illegally performing medical procedures.

“Their activities are dangerous and pose a threat to public safety,” BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said.

Most of the clinic’s patients were Vietnamese, some of them sex workers who would need cosmetic enhancement and abortion, according to the BI.

BI spokesperson Dana Sandoval said the underground clinic may have Filipino incorporators who may face charges for harboring illegal aliens.

Meanwhile, PAOCC spokesman Winston Casio said the commission’s legal officers are coordinating with the Department of Justice for the filing of criminal charges against the five foreigners.

“We have also launched an investigation to identify other beneficial owners of the establishment. We have an idea who is behind it, but we are still digging deeper to identify others involved,” he added.

All five foreigners were arrested after they failed to present licenses to practice their respective professions during the raid on the clinic, located in the Hobbies of Asia building.

‘POGO links’

Casio said the PAOCC will conduct a deeper investigation due to the clinic’s possible links to illegal Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).

“We need to investigate because we are concerned about the possibility that POGO workers who get sick, who get shot, or who get kidnapped or tortured in POGO (hubs) are not going to legal hospitals but instead directly go to hospitals like this,” he said.

“This is very alarming. That is why we ordered the closure of the establishment.”               

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