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Korean fugitive nabbed

Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) have arrested a South Korean fugitive who is wanted in his home country for a case of fraud involving six billion won, or some P270 million.

Director General Ronald dela Rosa, chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the operation stemmed from a confirmed intelligence report regarding the presence of a certain Yong Ho Jeon in a posh residential community in Makati City.

Yong sought refuge in the Philippines last year after he was charged for defrauding South Korean businessmen of some six billion won from June 10, 2015 to July 8, 2016.

“He is a member of a criminal group of South Koreans wherein the modus operandi is to establish a call center and victimize those who need low-interest loans,” said dela Rosa.

Director Roel Obusan, CIDG director, explained that the group of Yong targeted South Korean individuals and companies planning to borrow large sum of money from banks and other institutions.

“The group calls their targets and pretended as staff or connected with financial institutions and asked for money allegedly to be used in facilitating the loans,” said Obusan.

Obusan said the group is also involved in extortion activities against several individuals and companies.

He said the victims filed the case before a South Korean court and it was then that Yong and at least three of his cohorts fled to Manila.

Obusan said that even in the Philippines, the group of Yong had reunited and joined forces with other South Korean criminal groups operating in the country.

“Most of those criminal gangs are involved in extortion, kidnapping, contract-killing, protection racket and other criminal activities,” said Obusan.

It was recalled that South Korean executive Jee Ick Joo was allegedly a victim of contract-killing after he refused to yield to the extortion demand of his fellow South Koreans in Angeles City.

The death of Jee at the hands of anti-narcotics operatives of the PNP became controversial and resulted in the police being kicked out of the anti-drugs war. But the PNP resumed last month its anti-drugs war.

Obusan said that Yong transferred to a condominium unit in Makati City with his wife and mother last month, and it was then that police traced his whereabouts.

Dela Rosa said the suspect was arrested through coordination with South Korean police. The case to which Yong was charged has a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment in South Korea.

Yong was presented yesterday along with a South Korean couple – Yang Sum and Yang Myung Ock Yeo – arrested in Benguet also wanted for a case of fraud. (AARON B. RECUENCO)