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Korean Cohort Arrested in Cebu
« on: October 28, 2012, 04:47:15 PM »
by pna

Police arrested four persons, including a Korean national, for allegedly kidnapping another Korean national and his Filipina live-in partner last Wednesday.

Police identified the victims as Jun Hyung Chung and live-in partner Charisse Santiago, both of legal age and residents of Laguerta St., Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.

The arrested suspects were identified as Leonard Bolabon, Gregorio Dealagdon and Richcard Nemenzo Dealagdon.

The three reportedly kidnapped Chung and Santiago from their apartment at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The suspects said they were hired by a Korean national Song Sung Heum, 32, to demand payment of the couple's debt with the former.

Initial police investigation said Chung reportedly owed Heum about P4 million.

While the operation to track down the victims and the suspects was being conducted by the Cebu Intelligence Branch (CIB), CIB was ordered by Philippine National Police (PNP) Director Nicanor Bartolome who was in Cebu City Friday for a speaking engagement at an uptown hotel.

He told reporters that the couple was taken from their apartment in Lahug to different places in the city. First, they were taken to Busay, in Cebu City, but later to Toledo City and then back to Cebu City.

During the alleged kidnapping, the suspects supposedly took P200,000 cash from Chung.

Bolabon, who is currently detained together with two other suspects at the Cebu City Police Office stockade, denied kidnapping the couple.

He said they were asked by Heum, who was still in Korea during the alleged kidnapping, to personally demand payment from Chung.

Bolabon said they drove them around while waiting for their alleged creditor to return from Korea.

He said they pretended to be members of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and told the couple to pay the money they owed Heum.

”We did not kidnap them because that’s a serious case. We only drove them around while we waited for Heum to return to the country,” Bolabon said.

He admitted they drove the couple to different places, but said they did not hurt the victims.

Bartolome, who refused to elaborate on some details, specifically on how the CIB tracked down the suspects, merely said that they received a text message from a source who knew about the kidnapping.

He told reporters to wait for the results of the anti-kidnapping task force’s investigation.

At 10 p.m. Wednesday, the CIB operatives traced the suspects to a bank near a mall in Cebu City.

The suspects were allegedly trying to withdraw P195,000 from Chung’s account.

The CIB arrested the suspects and found the victims, who were handcuffed, inside a Toyota Vios.

Bartolome said the suspects reportedly asked for P600,000 from the victims as an initial payment.

A middle man named Wilfredo Naval was still at large, he said.

Naval was the one who reportedly fetched Heum, who arrived from Seoul, South Korea at dawn Friday.

The CIB operatives arrested Heum just as he arrived in Cebu, based on Bolabon and Gregorio Dealagdon’s statement.

Heum is detained at the Tourist Police detention cell. He declined interviews.

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