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BI nabs Korean long wanted for telecom fraud

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A South Korean national long wanted by the bureau for being a fugitive in his country where he was charged with engaging telecommunications fraud was arrested by Bureau of Immigration (BI) operatives on Wednesday.

Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco identified the alien as Kang Hee Woo, 35. He was arrested in Malabacat City, Pampanga by elements from the BI’s fugitive search unit (FSU) under Rendel Ryan Sy and is presently detained at the BI warden facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City while awaiting deportation.

Tansingco said Kang was placed in the bureau’s blacklist and banned from re-entering the country and will be sent back to Seoul immediately as an order for his summary deportation was already issued by the BI board of commissioners in 2018 after South Korean authorities informed the bureau about his crimes.

“It took almost five years of intensive manhunt and surveillance operations before we were able to arrest him. This serves a warning to other foreign fugitives hiding in the Philippines. The long arm of the law will eventually catch you wherever you may be,” the BI chief said.

Tansingco said that the Korean is also the subject of an Interpol red notice that was issued in 2021.

Kang was issued separate arrest warrants by the Seoul central district court and Seoul Dongbu central district court for alleged involvement in telecom fraud.

Too, Kang was accused of being a ranking member of the Youngjae-Han telecom fraud syndicate which is believed to have defrauded victims of more than one billion won, or roughly US$740,000. The syndicate allegedly employed voice phishing operations through random calls to its victims in Korea.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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