Ceza cracks down on ‘online sabong’, unlicensed crypto firms

The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (Ceza) has clarified that it has not issued any license for online cockfighting and stressed that anyone engaged in such activity is violating the anti-illegal gambling law.

CEZA administrator and CEO Raul Lambino

In a statement on Tuesday, November 20, Ceza administrator Raul L. Lambino said that since taking over as Ceza chief in mid-2017, he has totally disallowed all forms of “online sabong” or “e-sabong” and illegal gambling emanating from inside the economic zone.

“We have put a stop to online sabong, and any company claiming to have a valid license from Ceza to operate must know that they face arrest, investigation and prosecution by the proper law enforcement authorities,” he said.

Ceza has two authorized master licensors in the economic zone, and both also categorically denied having anything to do in facilitating the operation of online cockfighting.

Lambino urged the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to arrest those claiming to have bogus Ceza licensees to operate online sabong activities.

At the same time, Lambino ordered a tighter watch on activities in its “Crypto in the Valley” program following reports some unlicensed cryptocurrency firms have burrowed into Ceza’s emerging fintech-crypto hub where they have set up illegal operations.

Since launching its program last May, Ceza has awarded licenses to 18 startup firms engaged in cryptocurrency mining and technological research and development.

These are the Golden Millennial Quickpay, Ultra Precise Investment, Liannet Technology, Rare Earth Asia, Formosa Financial, Tanzer Holdings, Asia Premiere, Orient Express Global, White Ranch, Dragon Empire, Glaxay Plus, Tiger Wheel, IPE Global, Cr8tive Solutions, Sino-Phil., Digifin Technologies and Hong Kong Yuen Shing Hong Ltd.

Several financial technology (fintech) summits, however, have been turned into a smokescreen for some unnamed unlicensed companies to carry out illegal activities, Lambino said as he warned the public to exercise caution about getting into fintech ventures and investments.

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