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12 Korean fugitives nabbed

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced yesterday the arrest of 12 South Korean fugitives wanted by authorities in their country for operating an online business scam that has defrauded many of their compatriots.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente disclosed that the aliens were apprehended last Wednesday during an operation conducted by BI intelligence operatives who swooped down on the suspects’ lairs at the Gramercy Residences, Century City, Poblacion, Makati City.

Morente said he issued the mission order authorizing the BI agents to conduct the operation after intensive surveillance and tips from informants established the fugitives’ presence inside the plush residential building.

Morente added that it was the South Korean embassy in Manila which reported the fugitives’ presence in the country and sought the BI’s help in having them deported so they could stand trial for their crimes.

“Their embassy has confirmed that all 12 of them are subjects of arrest warrants issued by various Korean courts where they have been charged with large-scale fraud,” the BI chief said.

Those arrested were identified as Noh Heamin, Park Jeongho, Kim Sun Jang, Lee Hyanglim, Yoon Daseul, Kim Sunghoon, Jeong Miseon, Park Mingyu, Park Youngju, Park Hyunmyeung, Park Chanju, and Lee Hyunho.

“They are now undergoing deportation proceedings as they have been charged with undesirability for being fugitives from justice and posing risk to public safety and security,” said lawyer Arvin Santos, BI legal division chief.

Information provided by Korean embassy officials alleged that the fugitives were involved in an online fraud scheme that preyed on unsuspecting Korean victims living here and in their own country.

They are believed to have duped many Koreans, through the internet, into investing their money in bogus real estate projects in the Philippines.

Santos said the Koreans will be deported as soon as the BI board of commissioners issues the order for their summary deportation after which they will be placed in the bureau’s blacklist to prevent them from re-entering the Philippines. (JUN RAMIREZ)

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