BI blacklists 21 Chinese nationals for overstaying in PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 24, 2020   •   364

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has blacklisted 21 Chinese nationals for overstaying without valid justification.

The 21 Chinese nationals arrived in the country on separate dates last December and January and availed of the government’s Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) program.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente issued the blacklist after the Bureau directed the aliens to immediately leave the country after they have updated their stay and paid the required fees, fines and penalties.

“As a consequence of their being placed in our blacklist, these Chinese nationals are now barred from re-entering the Philippines for violating the conditions of their stay,” he said.

The VUA program is a landed visa scheme that the government launched three years ago to attract more Chinese tourists into the country. It was previously suspending by the BI last January due to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan and other places in China. AAC

US national wanted for assault in California nabbed in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   August 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – An American national wanted by authorities in California for assault and possession of a deadly weapon is now facing deportation after he was arrested in the country, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

In a statement on Monday, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the foreigner, identified as Peter Alex Drier, 45, was nabbed during the joint operation of the bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit and the Batangas Police.

Drier was arrested last August 5 in Barangay Dayap Itaas in Laurel, Batangas at the request of the United States’ Embassy in Manila following the cancellation of his passport, he added.

“He will be deported for posing risk to public safety and security due to his profile as a fugitive from justice who used the Philippines as a refuge to evade prosecution for crimes he committed in his country,” he said.

The bureau shared that the US embassy disclosed that Drier has an outstanding arrest warrant issued by the police department in San Diego, California for failure to appear and answer an underlying charge of Assault with a deadly weapon.

It was further learned that Drier was twice arrested last year on charges of Crimes Against Person and Simple Assault by the San Diego police.

The bureau said Drier has been turned over to the temporary custody of the Batangas provincial police pending the conduct result of his COVID-19 swab test.

He will also be placed in the immigration blacklist to prevent him from re-entering the Philippines.

3 South Korean nationals wanted for telecom fraud nabbed in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Three South Korean nationals wanted by authorities in Seoul for their involvement in telecommunications fraud have been arrested in the country, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the foreigners as Lim Yeongjun, 36; Kwom Hyeoksoo, 49; and Sim Dong Woo, 49.

Morente said the three were arrested last Tuesday, August 4 by joint operatives from the bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) and the Philippine National Police.

They were caught inside the office of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group at the Southern Police District (SPD) headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City where they were taken earlier into custody by policemen.

Morente said the Koreans, who are all overstaying aliens, are subjects of red notices from the Interpol, and that their passports were already revoked by their government.

The BI Chief, however, stressed that the subjects cannot be deported yet as they are facing criminal charges for violating the 1988 Access Device Regulation Act and 2011 Anti-Cybercrime Law.

In fact, the suspects are currently detained at the custodial facility of the CIDG while undergoing criminal investigation prior to the filing of complaints against them in court.

“It is only after these criminal charges are resolved, and upon completion of service of sentence, if they are convicted, that we will be able to deport them,” Morente said.

Information obtained from the BI Interpol Unit revealed that the fugitives operated clandestine call centers in Manila, which they used to trick and defraud their victims.

They allegedly deceived the victims by pretending that they are agents of lending institutions, and persuading the former to repay their loans in advance in order to avail of lower interest.

Korean authorities said the three suspects amassed from their phishing activities more than 80 million won or roughly more than US$67,000, which the unsuspecting victims deposited into the suspects’ bank accounts.

“Consequently, we’re not only able to bring these criminals to justice. We also prevented them from using our country as a refuge so they could evade prosecution for their crimes. Besides, their presence here poses a threat to our people’s welfare and safety,” Morente said.

BI suspends online appointment, scales down operations starting Aug. 4

Marje Pelayo   •   August 4, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced that it is temporarily suspending its online appointment system for foreign clients at the agency’s main office in Intramuros, Manila starting Tuesday (August 4) as Metro Manila shifts to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente advises clients with confirmed appointments between August 3 and 18 to just reapply for new schedules to transact at the Bureau after the MECQ is lifted.

The suspension of the online appointment system is needed because the agency is compelled to operate at limited manpower while the MECQ is in effect, Morente said.

However, the system will remain open to foreign clients who are scheduled to leave the Philippines during the MECQ period.

Likewise, it will continue to reserve slots for departing aliens who need to secure their Emigration Clearance Certificate (ECC), re-entry permit and update their extension fees.

For outbound foreigners, however, Morente said they should present confirmed flight bookings or plane tickets prior to entering the BI’s premises.

Among the transactions that are suspended at the main office include:

  • Applications for conversion to or renewal of immigrant visa;
  • Petition for recognition as Philippine citizens, including Republic Act 9225 or the dual citizenship law;
  • Downgrading of visa status;
  • Tourist visa extension;
  • Special work permits (SWP) and provisional permit to work (PPW);
  • Renewal of alien certificate of registration (ACR I-Cards); and
  • Implementation of applications for visa conversion or extension approved by the Bureau’s Board of Commissioners (BOC).

The BI further advised departing aliens under tourist visa, who overstayed in the country for not more than six months, to just pay their visa extension fees at the airport.

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