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3 Koreans, 3 cohorts nabbed in drug raid

Three South Koreans allegedly involved in illegal drugs trade were collared along with their three Filipino cohorts when Quezon City police raided their unit in a posh condominium in Makati City on the eve of All Saints’ Day.

In a press conference yesterday, the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) presented the arrested foreigners identified as Bang Kho Laem with aliases “Mr. Kuo” and “Chi Pui Wong,” 49; Isaac Kho alias “Kiderck Kim”; Kook Jung Wong, 51; and Jintaek Lee, 42.

Also nabbed were Arby Diaz alias “Arbeen Jhielyn Diaz,” 20; Kathleen Nonato, 32; and Jaypee Soriano, 24.

Joint operatives of the QCPD’s anti-illegal drugs unit (DAID) and special operations unit (DSOU) swooped down at 11:20 p.m. on two-storey unit at the high-end One Rockwell Tower in Barangay Poblacion, Makati City, by virtue of a search warrant from the QC Regional Trial Court against Laem, Kho, Diaz and a certain Lyn Paz.

The raid was conducted after a drug suspect, who was arrested last September, pointed to Laem and his girlfriend Diaz as their source of prohibited drugs.

QCPD chief Senior Supt. Guillermo Eleazar said they discovered that the South Koreans have been operating their illegal drug trade for more than a year.

Based on intelligence report, Eleazar said the foreigners are exporting at least 100 grams of shabu daily to South Korea as well as the United States thru a courier service.

The suspects allegedly use envelopes to transport illegal drugs. They stash small sachets with about four grams between each of the ridges, paste them together, and fill the envelope with documents before having it delivered.

Police officials said they earn around P600,000 from exporting illegal drugs, five times the market value in the Philippines.

During the raid, security officers of the condominium knocked at the suspects’ unit at One Rockwell’s east tower, but the occupants refused to open.

As the operatives destroyed the lock of the door, Laem reportedly attacked Senior Inspector Paterno Domondon with a katana, hitting him on his right palm.

Police continued with the operation and found the suspects inside the unit with various contraband.

Paz, on the other hand, was not around during the raid. She was said to be residing in a condominium unit in Paco, Manila.

Operatives seized a total of 31 containers of suspected shabu worth P1.25 million, three digital weighing scales, and assorted drug paraphernalia.

Also confiscated were four samurai swords, two improvised .22-caliber revolvers, two laptops and 10 assorted cellphones in the unit.

Damondon, who sustained 15 stitches after the surgery, is now recuperating in Camp Crame General Hospital, according to Eleazar.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Chief Supt. Oscar Albayalde said the arrested South Koreans are part of a bigger drug group.

“We are not discounting the fact that the these (Koreans) may be a part of a group, considering there a lot of foreigners staying all over the country…They can afford to stay in a high-end condo because they earn big,” Albayalde said.

Eleazar further disclosed that the foreigners named a Chinese national based in the country as their supplier.

Kho claimed he was an agent of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service and trained in the US army. He even wears a military bull ring.

Non-bailable drug charges will be filed against the three South Koreans before the Makati City Court. Laem will also face physical injury charges for attacking Domondon.