Korean’s kidnapping sparks abductions probe

Posted on October 29, 2012

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MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) ordered an investigation into the alleged involvement of some foreigners in the abduction of their compatriots in the country.

PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome directed the PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) to look into previous kidnapping of foreigners after police arrested a Korean national for his supposed role in the abduction of a fellow Korean and his Filipino common-law wife in Cebu City.

“We need to look deeper into kidnapping cases of similar nature to determine if there is a pattern of a syndicated crime operation with transnational dimension,” Bartolome said in a statement.

“Based on AKG records, this is not the first time that a foreigner was involved in the kidnapping of his countryman,” he continued.

Senior Supt. Renato Gumban, AKG director, said his office would immediately review past abductions of expats “to establish any pattern of syndicated kidnapping in all previous cases.”

Police arrested Song Sung Heum, 33, and his purported Filipino cohorts Gregorio Dealagon, Leonardo Bolabon and Richard Dealagon last Friday, two days after they supposedly forcibly took Jun Hyun Chung and his live-in partner Charisse Santiago from their house in downtown Cebu City.

“(They were) shackled, shoved into a car and driven around Cebu,” Gumban said.

A few hours later, operatives of the Cebu City police station and AKG arrested the three Filipino suspects and “rescued the couple while the suspects were attempting to withdraw cash from the victim’s account” from an automated teller machine.

“The suspects readily admitted to be acting on orders of Song Sung Heum who reportedly demanded P4 million from the victims,” Gumban said.

Song was subsequently arrested on the same day upon his arrival from Korea at the Mactan International Airport in Lapu-lapu City. /INQUIRER

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