Philippines Police Kill Four Suspects in Casino Employee Kidnapping

  • The suspects had already been paid a partial ransom by the online casino worker’s son
  • Police tracked the suspects through the payment, made on WeChat
  • Police recovered four pistols, laptops, phones, and handcuffs
  • 55 Chinese citizens were kidnapped in the Philippines between 2017 and 2019
Phillipines police
Police in the Philippines killed four men, suspected of kidnapping a Chinese man who worked for an online casino. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Saving the casino worker

Philippines police killed four men suspected of kidnapping a Chinese man from a central city in a shootout, officials said Tuesday.

“Our men were met with gunfire from the suspects, prompting them to retaliate,” said police Brigadier General Rudolph Dimas, who leads the country’s anti-kidnapping team.

received a partial ransom payment through the Chinese smartphone application WeChat

Police, along with a SWAT team and intelligence agents, raided a foxhole in Lapu Lapu Monday night after tracking the suspects. At least one of the since-deceased received a partial ransom payment through the Chinese smartphone application WeChat, according to police.

The kidnapping

The victim of the kidnapping was identified as Lyu Xingou of Fujian, a southeastern province in China. He was taken from his home by Chinese-speaking assailants last Wednesday as he was preparing to leave for work.

The kidnappers then called Xingou’s son and demanded a ransom payment for his father’s release. He submitted a partial payment through WeChat, which investigators used to track the criminals’ location.

the group may have been a part of previous kidnappings of employees of online casinos

Police found four pistols, laptops, phones, and handcuffs at the slain criminals’ retreat. The group may have been a part of previous kidnappings of employees of online casinos that catered to Chinese crowds, Dimas said.

Authorities in Beijing ordered heightened attention to kidnapping after 55 Chinese citizens were victimized in the Philippines between 2017 and 2019. Although the numbers improved, the latest occurrence is another example of the unfortunate pattern.

The Philippines response

The Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corporation (Pagcor), operating under the Office of the President, released a statement promising to prioritize curtailing issues related to the gambling industry.

Pagcor also said it met with the central bank and Securities and Exchange Commission to secure the flow of money in the industry. 

The regulator also promised to work with police to strengthen security at casinos; many Chinese immigrants come to the Philippines looking for work in the gambling industry, one of the quickest-growing sectors in entertainment.