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South Korean fugitive falls

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced yesterday the arrest of one of South Korea’s most wanted for allegedly duping hundreds of their compatriots in a multi-million dollar financial pyramiding scam.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the fugitive as 45-year-old Ma Yoonsik, who was apprehended last week by operatives of the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU) in Las Piñas City.

Morente said the arrest of Ma, who is the subject of an Interpol red notice, came after the Korean embassy in Manila sought his deportation to Seoul to stand trial for large-scale fraud.

The embassy informed the BI that an arrest warrant was issued against Ma by the Suwon district court in Korea on Nov. 7 last year and that he could be sentenced to 10 years in prison if convicted.

He added that the Korean was recently turned over to the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to prevent his escape before he is deported.

According to the BI chief, Ma conspired with six other Koreans in establishing a company in Pasay City which operated the pyramiding racket that duped hundreds of victims here and in Korea.

Seoul authorities alleged that the suspects swindled many victims who lost an estimated 37 billion Korean won (US$32 million) to the scam. (Jun Ramirez)

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