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145 Chinese businessmen released in Manila
(China Daily/chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2005-12-17 07:09

The Chinese Embassy in Manila is dealing with local authorities concerning the arrest of 145 Chinese businessmen in a shopping mall, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

The Philippines immigration officials arrested 102 Chinese businessmen on Wednesday afternoon and another 40 on Thursday, a local Chinese-language newspaper reported.

Sources with the Foreign Ministry confirmed the report, saying negotiations are going on, but gave no further details.

All the businessmen have been released after each paying 50,000 peso (about 7,100 RMB yuan) in recognizance, Chongqing Morning Post reported Saturday.

Among the business people arrested on Wednesday, 49 are women and 53 men. The oldest is 86, who said he had just arrived in Manila on the previous day with valid documents and air ticket.

A witness said about 30 immigration officials took part in the operation. Two young women were reportedly handcuffed and had some bruises on their bodies, and another young man was half stripped and did not wear shoes. The young man tried to escape but was captured.

Another two claimed that they were just students of a local university and were detained when shopping in the mall.

The Philippine immigration authorities said that those detainees violated immigration regulations, which stipulate that foreigners are not allowed to carry out retailing business. The arrested Chinese were also accused of working with tourism visas.

The immigration officials said they had received many complaints from Philippine businessmen, who said their Chinese counterparts were engaged in unfair competition.

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