11 Korean, Japanese fugitives nabbed in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   February 12, 2020   •   444

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday said its operatives have arrested three South Koreans and eight Japanese fugitives in four separate operations last week.

In a statement, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the foreigners were arrested in operations conducted by the bureau’s fugitive search unit (FSU) in Laguna and the cities of Quezon, Taguig, and Pasay.

According to BI-FSU Chief Bobby Raquepo, the three Koreans are wanted by authorities in Seoul on charges of large-scale fraud and embezzlement that victimized many of their compatriots.

The Korean fugitives were identified as 35-year old Kim Moo Gyo, 27-year old Kim Saehyun, and 72-year old Wi Seong Don.

Kim Moo Gyo, who was arrested on February 4 in a condominium building in Cubao, was reportedly issued an arrest warrant after he was indicted by a Korean court for his involvement in telecommunications fraud wherein the victims’ combined losses amounted to more than $US840 million.

Also arrested on the same date in Taguig was Kim Saehyun, who was ordered arrested for illegally operating an online gaming business and committing telecom fraud in violation of Korea’s national sports promotion act of the Republic of Korea.

Wi, on the other hand, was arrested in Pasay last February 10. He is wanted for multiple counts of fraud and embezzlement charges in Korea and has seven standing arrest warrants for said offenses.

“They no longer hold valid passports as these were already canceled by the Korean government,” Raquepo said.

Meanwhile, the eight Japanese nationals were arrested by immigration officers at a resort in Famy, Laguna on February 11. The foreigners are facing charges for their alleged involvement in voice phishing, and telecom fraud and extortion.

Recovered from the foreigners were numerous phones and scripts, which they allegedly use in duping their victims.

Requepo said the Japanese, all males and in their early 20s to 30s, were subject of an investigation and case buildup by the National Bureau of Investigation Laguna District Office (NBI-LAGDO).

He added that the eight were purportedly involved in a scam targeting Japanese nationals, mostly retired senior citizens. The group has been operating for at least three years and has reportedly scammed millions of pesos

The BI said the foreign fugitives are currently detained at the BI Warden Facility in Bicutan, Taguig pending their deportation.

Pemberton flies back to US following BI deportation order

Maris Federez   •   September 13, 2020

US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Immigration has announced that US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was successfully deported from the Philippines on Sunday morning, September 13.

Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval said in an interview that the military plane that carried Pemberton took off from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) at exactly 9:14 a.m. He was accompanied by members of the US military and representatives of the US embassy.

The BI official, however, stressed authorities cannot disclose the specific state of Pemberton’s destination for security reasons.

Pemberton was convicted of homicide for killing Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude in 2014.

He was released by virtue of the absolute pardon granted to him by President Rodrigo Duterte after five years into his service of a six-to-10-year prison sentence.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in the Philippines on Sunday also released an official statement on Pemberton’s release.

“All legal proceedings in the case took place under Philippine jurisdiction and law,” it read.

“Lance Cpl. Pemberton fulfilled his sentence as ordered by Philippine courts and he departed the Philippines on September 13,” it added. — /mbmf

Bureau of Immigration takes over custody of Pemberton

Robie de Guzman   •   September 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The custody of pardoned US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton has been transferred on Friday to the Bureau Immigration (BI) from the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Pemberton was turned over to the BI custody around 11 a.m. and his BuCor guards were recalled to the New Bilibid Prisons.

The Immigration bureau earlier said it requested to take over the custody of Pemberton to complete the deportation proceedings against him.

The deportation order was issued against Pemberton in 2015 for being an undesirable alien when he was sentenced for the 2014 murder of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude.

Although he is already under the Immigration bureau, Pemberton will remain at his detention facility inside Camp Aguinaldo as he completes the requirements for his exit from the country.

Foreign nationals who are up for deportation are required to submit clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and regional trial court as proof that they have no more pending criminal or civil cases.

Once these requirements are submitted, the deportee’s flight will then be arranged and scheduled by the BI.

According to BI spokesperson Melvin Mabulac, the immigration legal division has started processing Pemberton’s deportation, and the NBI has already taken his fingerprints and photo for the clearance.

“Ang importante kasi sa implementation ng deportation order, stipulated kasi doon kung ano ang flight na sasakyan at anong araw aalis at anong travel document ang submitted. Very specific yun eh sa implementation ng deportation order,” he said.

Aside from NBI clearance, Pemberton is also waiting for the result of the COVID-19 swab test conducted on him earlier this week.

The United States Embassy in Manila is also expected to submit Pemberton’s travel documents, including passport, itinerary or the actual date of exit from the country depends on his flight arrangements as he is a military personnel of the US. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

DOJ sees no problem with BI move to deport Pemberton

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice sees no problem in having US soldier Joseph Scott Pemberton deported from the country after being granted pardon.

“If there was already a final deportation order against Pemberton, and he is not contesting it, then so be it. Either way, he’s out,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said Wednesday in a message to reporters.

Guevarra’s remark came after the Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced it will implement its deportation order against Pemberton once he is released from detention and turned over to them by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente earlier said the deportation order was issued against Pemberton in 2015 for being an undesirable alien when he was sentenced for the 2014 murder of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude.

The BI chief explained that his request will enable the bureau to complete the deportation proceedings that was initiated against the American convict.

He also stressed that turning over alien convicts who have finished serving their prison sentences so they could be sent back to their country of origin is a standard operating procedure for BuCor.

Foreign nationals who are up for deportation are required to submit clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and regional trial court as proof that they have no more pending criminal or civil cases.

Once these requirements are submitted, the deportee’s flight will then be arranged and scheduled by the BI.

Morente earlier said they will await instructions from Guevarra for guidance on how we will implement the deportation order in a manner that is within the prescribed laws of the country. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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