Alleged Korean online prostitution ring leader nabbed in PHL

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2021   •   362

MANILA, Philippines A Korean national wanted in his home country for operating an online prostitution advertising site was arrested in the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Wednesday.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the foreigner as Seo Jung Nam, 41, who was arrested in Amor Riverside Anunas in Angeles City, Pampanga on Wednesday morning.

The operation was conducted by the bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) in coordination with Korean authorities following receipt of information about Seo, with an Interpol Seoul Notice issued last December.

The bureau said Seo has been in the country since 2015.

BI FSU Chief Bobby Raquepo said the suspect is facing a sexual exploitation and prostitution case in Korea for allegedly placing prostitution advertisements online, as well as in business areas.

An arrest warrant was issued against him by the Uijeongbu District Court in Korea in 2018.

Seo, along with other accomplices, reportedly earned a profit of approximately 32 million Korean Won or P1.3 million by operating the online prostitution site under the name Playboy.

“We received information from our Korean counterparts that Seo’s passport is also undergoing revocation, making him an undocumented alien,” Raquepo said.

The arrested individual will be presented to the BI’s Legal Division for an inquest, and shall be turned over to the BI’s Warden Facility in Taguig following Covid-19 testing, the BI said.

BI: Wanted Korean swindler nabbed in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   March 2, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A South Korean national wanted by authorities in Seoul for swindling and defrauding his compatriots has been arrested in the country, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Tuesday.

In a report to Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente, the bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) identified the foreigner as Lee Beomseok, 42, who was arrested on Thursday in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Morente said he issued the mission order for Lee’s arrest at the request of the South Korean authorities in Manila following information that he is the subject of a criminal investigation for fraud in his country.

Lee is also the subject of an Interpol blue notice issued on March last year and he is already an undocumented alien due to the revocation of his passport by the Korean government, the BI chief added.

Citing its records, the BI said that sometime in September 2013, Lee received 25 million won, or equivalent to about US$22,000 from his first victim after persuading him to lend money for his alleged restaurant business.

The following year, Lee again reportedly enticed another victim to lend him a total of almost 280 million won, or roughly US$248,000, which the victim transferred to his bank account in several tranches.

The bureau said Lee is presently detained at the BI detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig pending issuance and implementation of the order for his deportation by the bureau’s board of commissioners.

“He will be placed on the immigration blacklist and banned from re-entering the Philippines,” Morente said.

PH now allows foreigners to renew expired re-entry permits at airports

Robie de Guzman   •   March 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Foreign nationals with valid Philippine visas are now allowed to renew their expired re-entry permits (RP) and special return certificates (SRC) at the country’s airports, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

The BI said an RP is issued to a holder of an immigrant visa, who is a permanent resident in the Philippines, while the SRC is obtained by a non-immigrant such as holders of working visa and student visa.

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the move will facilitate the unhampered entry of foreigners with existing valid visas who were not permitted to enter the Philippines when the coronavirus pandemic struck the world last year.

“Many of these foreign nationals have already expired RPs and SRCs, and the new procedure will allow them to renew this at the airport upon arrival,” Morente said in a statement issued on Sunday.

The bureau said foreigners cannot leave the country unless they have secured their RP or SRC as well as their emigration clearance certificate (ECC).

Official receipts of these payments are to be presented to the immigration officer upon these aliens’ return to the country, it said.

Re-entry permit fees are valid from six months to one year from the date of a foreigner’s departure, it added.

The Philippine government earlier this month eased travel restrictions to allow more foreigners to enter the country by including those with valid visas issued as of March 20, 2020.

BI: Bahraini man wanted for sex crimes nabbed in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   February 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A Bahraini national who is facing rape charges in his country has been arrested in the Philippines, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the foreigner as Alsendi Waleed Abdulla Hamad, 43. He was arrested on Tuesday in Dasmariñas, Cavite by operatives from the bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU).

Morente said Hamad was arrested on orders of the Department of Justice (DOJ) following instruction to verify the presence and status here of the said Bahraini national and, if warranted, to initiate deportation proceedings against him.

Hamad is the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the public prosecutor’s office of Bahrain for sexual assault and possession of pornographic materials. Consequently, an Interpol red notice against him was issued two years ago, he added.

“He will be summarily deported as his presence here and record as a sex offender pose a serious threat to our people,” the BI chief said in a statement on Thursday.

Information from the BI showed that Hamad fled to the Philippines in March 2016 after being accused of sexually assaulting a female victim in his apartment.

He is being detained at the BI warden facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City pending issuance of the order for his deportation by the bureau’s board of commissioners, the bureau said.

Hamad will also be placed on the immigration blacklist and banned from re-entering the Philippines, it added.

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