Only eight (8) out of the fifteen (15) Chinese issued criminal citations for Possession of Gambling Devices and Records on September 18 by the Special Taskforce are confirmed to be employees of Senator Camsek Elias Chin, and not 15 as earlier reported. The other seven (7) cited included five (5) tourists and two (2) on provisional visas with Amos Mesubed.
In a statement issued by Mr. Chin on October 27 contesting the validity of the information in the article, he stated that the people listed in the news article to be under his company were not his employees and that the provisional visas were just issued a “about a week ago” and were still under the process to receive their work permits. “To this day, they have never received any work permits to work for me,” stated Senator Chin in his statement to this paper.
Records obtained from the Division of Labor show work permits for the 8 employees of Computer Programming & Design, one of the five professional companies listed under Mr. Chin’s name, to have been issued on September 18, 2020, and to expire on November 30, 2020. According to Mr. Chin, these are provisional visas while Labor records says they are Work Permits. Provisional visas are good for up to 30 days, and extendable up to 60 days.
When reached for comments, Director Sylverius Tellei of Labor Division said that Labor did not issue citations to Chin’s people. He said they issued citations to the tourists only because they were in violation of the Labor law.
“Chin’s people were there lawfully. They are computer programmers and they were doing their job so we did not cite them. Other agencies cited them, not us,” stated Tellei.
Mr. Chin in the statement issued publicly said that the people were not yet employed by him and that only their provisional visas were approved. “If they were already working for us, they would be residing in our barracks, not other places,” stated Chin in a phone call to Island Times.
In his public statement, Chin said that he had been seeking programmers for his computer company to design a digital system “which would make it easier for the people of Palau to interact with the government, rather than having to visit countless bureaucratic offices..”. The 8 Chinese he was hiring to develop a program for his company were already in Palau and he said he decided to hire them rather than look for programmers elsewhere. He said their applications have been pending for nearly 10 months.
Asked why the provisional visa took so long to process, Tellei said they had to conduct their investigations first and they were waiting for additional documents for the workers. He said permits were issued when the workers documents were completed. Labor records show that the eight people were issued Work Permits under Computer Programming & Design company on September 18, 2020.
Immigration records show that the 2 of the 8 Chinese arrived at the end of November and 6 arrived on December 6 on tourist visas. Since then, they each have extended their tourists visas 3 times.
The other 7 people criminally cited for Possession of Gambling records include 2 with provisional visas under Amos Mesubed and 5 with tourist visas. All of these arrived in Palau in January and have extended their tourist visas 8 times. According to Palau Visitor Authority website, tourist visas are good for 30 days, and can be extended twice or total of up to 90 days, after which a person is required to exit the country.
In his public statement on October 27th, Mr. Chin lamented that the article published was politically motivated to damage his image. He expressed that one of the publisher of this paper who was senatorial candidate intended to “demean” him in an effort to increase himself.
The only error in the article published was the number of employees listed. Reliable sources who were present at the scene of the incident confirmed that the employees were those of Mr. Chin. Labor Director Tellei also confirmed that they were employees of Mr. Chin.
The issue of illegal online gambling in Palau exploded last year and early this year with multiple arrests made. The issue was of such concern that a special taskforce was created to address it.
The Special Task Force created by Executive Order 424 is given a “mandate to investigate and deport foreign nationals with criminal backgrounds and/or engaging in illegal cyber-based activities including online gambling and other criminal activities.”
No felony charges have been filed by the government although investigation on this case is ongoing.

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