A South Korean committed suicide at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City the other night, hours after he was barred by immigration authorities from entering the country for being a fugitive from justice.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente said An Sang Kwan, 50, was found dead inside the toilet of the exclusion room of the NAIA 3 terminal where he hanged himself with the bag strap.
Reports said that the Korean took his own life several hours after immigration officials turned him over to the custody of airline security personnel who then brought him to the exclusion room while he awaited his flight back to Korea.
Morente said the Korean apparently could not accept his fate that he chose to end his life rather than suffer the shame and humiliation of being brought back to his homeland and jailed for the crime he committed.
The BI chief, however, stressed that despite the incident the bureau will not be deterred into abdicating its mandate to prevent the entry of undesirable aliens and that immigration officers at the ports of entry will continue to be vigilant in their jobs.
According to lawyer Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesperson, An was convicted for fraud and sentenced to a three-year jail term by the Chuncheon District Court on Aug. 28, 2012.
He was charged with defrauding his victims of some $700,000 in a fraudulent real estate development scheme.
Mangrobang said a team of South Korean policemen was scheduled to fetch and escort the fugitive in his flight to Incheon, Korea yesterday morning.
It was learned that An was placed in the BI blacklist in March last year when the bureau’s board of commissioners ordered his deportation for being an undesirable alien.
The deportation order was issued after investigation found that the Korean overstayed his tourist visa and was in possession of a cancelled passport.
Moreover, the Korean embassy in Manila informed the BI about An’s status as a fugitive who was the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant. (Jun Ramirez)