Binay: Casinos becoming haven for drug trade

Posted at 03/09/14 12:06 PM

MANILA -- Senator Nancy Binay has filed a resolution seeking a probe into the alleged drug dealings in gambling circles, mostly in high-end casino hotels.

She fears casinos in the country are already being used by transnational syndicates.

“Ngayon, ginagamit na ang ilang mga casino at mga gaming center ng mga sindikato. These places have now become convenient hubs where drug deals easily exchange hands. Hindi na kailangan ang cash para magkasarahan ng deal… transactions are done discreetly using chips instead of cash,” Binay said in a statement.

Saying these international and organized crime groups are carrying their transactions via local counterparts, Binay urged the Philippine National Police to look into the pattern of complex crimes involving drugs, prostitution, high-roller lending operations, loan sharking and money laundering.

“Masalimuot ang operasyon at malinaw na hindi mga Pinoy ang nagpapatakbo nito—there are well-entrenched organized groups behind these underground operations,” she added.

Security concern

She cited the case of a certain Jerry Sy who was arrested at the parking lot of a popular casino in Metro Manila for illegal possession of high-powered firearms and explosives last December.

She said Sy had no passport, no immigration record, no valid ID, no address, no personal records, no next of kin and cannot even speak English. She said the police later dismissed him because of lack of documents to establish his identity.

“Sy might just be the tip of the iceberg here. Mas nakakabahala ‘yung nasa kailalimlaliman ng mga kasong ganito dahil malamang kakabit ito ng mas malaking organisadong sindikato. We need to mobilize our intelligence network otherwise this may become out of hand and evolve into a national security concern,” Binay said.