Bureau of Immigration (BI) operatives have arrested 98 alien fugitives hiding in the country during the first seven months of the year.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the foreign fugitives were arrested from January to Aug. 10. In the same period last year, 43 wanted foreigners were apprehended.
Morente said that last month alone when the bureau started to operate under his watch, a record 26 foreign fugitives were arrested by immigration agents belonging to the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU).
The BI chief stressed that catching and deporting alien fugitives will remain a top priority program of the bureau amid reports that many of them have used the country as a sanctuary while evading punishment for their crimes.
“They should not be hiding here. We should deport them back to their country where they should languish in jail after being tried, convicted and sentenced for their crimes,” he declared.
FSU statistics showed that 61 South Koreans topped the list of the arrested fugitives.
Lawyer Jose Carlitos Licas, BI asstant intelligence chief who heads the FSU, attributed the success of his unit to the close cooperation between the BI, Interpol and police attaches of the different foreign missions in Manila in locating wanted foreigners believed to have fled to the Philippines.
Licas added that 55 of the arrested aliens were wanted for cybercrimes while 27 others were charged with fraud and economic crimes. (Jun Ramirez)