PNP must look into casino-kidnapping case

August 20, 2019

I’M referring to an incident wherein a group of Chinese casino kidnappers managed to  bring their victim inside the Pasay City Police Station Jail on Sunday last week and sent the jail video to the latter’s father to force him to pay their ransom demand.

There’s something wrong, very wrong in this incident which PNP chief, General Oscar Albayalde and NCRPO chief, Major General Gilor Eleazar must investigate. First, it involved a group of Chinese nationals who abducted their compatriot Xiaoguo Bian of Shandong, China last July 29 and held him captive in an effort to force him to pay the P1.5 million he owed to the casino loan shark syndicate.

2nd, after failing to get their money back, the kidnappers, with the help of a retired Pasay City police officer took Bian to the Pasay City Police Station where an investigator brought the Chinese national to the station jail after being told by the other Chinese nationals and his retired colleague that Bian should be charged for not paying his casino debt.

3rd, the other Chinese nationals videotaped Bian while inside the Pasay City police jail allegedly without the knowledge of the police investigator. 4th, when the police investigator realized that the case is not proper for inquest, he released Bian and told the other foreigners they could file a case directly against him before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office.

Granting for the sake of argument that the police investigator committed a lapse in judgement when he ‘temporarily’ put Bian inside their jail where his video was taken again without his consent, could it be possible that casino loan shark rings are now using their contacts with the police—both active and retired—to force their victims and their families to pay their debts plus huge interest in exchange for ‘some commissions.’

For the record, the Pasay City jail incident was discovered by the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group headed by Colonel Jonnel Estomo when it investigated a complaint from the Chinese Embassy regarding the alleged kidnapping of the 25-year Bian last August 8 inside the Midas Hotel in Pasay City.

PNP-AKG investigators found out that Chinese nationals working for a casino loan shark abducted and tortured the victim and sent his torture video to his father who is in China. Last August 15, the father of Bian again received a video showing his son inside the lock-up facility of the Pasay City Police Station prompting the PNP-AKG to verify the report.

Apparently, the suspects used the Pasay City police jail as a ‘props’ to further intimidate their victim’s family that he was indeed in big trouble since he was already inside a Philippine jail.

It turned out that around 10:30 p.m. last August 11, at least four of Bian’s kidnappers brought him to the Pasay City police station to file a criminal case against him. Imagine, a group of foreigners involved in a kidnapping-for-ransom case have the gall to even bring him to a police station while being accompanied by a retired cop.

However, after learning that PNP-AKG agents were already investigating the case, the kidnappers released Bian, word of his release sent to the PNP-AKG by a Midas Hotel employee. Around 11: 30 p.m. of the day, the victim was turned over to the PNP-AKG by an official of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.

The PNP-AKG said that information supplied by the victim triggered a joint AKG-Pasay City police operation at the Lancaster Condominium in Pasay City which resulted in the arrest of one suspect identified as Libu Xu.

Here are some of the interesting details discovered by the PNP-AKG from Bian. It turned out that he borrowed P1.5 million from a casino financier he identified only as alias ‘Ah Hua’ but lost all his money while playing baccarat at the Midas Casino.

Unable to pay his P1.5 million debt plus the P500,000 interest, the victim was held captive inside a Hotel Midas room from July 29 to 31. Last August 1, the victim was transferred to another place where the kidnappers beat him and took his video. They later sent the video to the victim’s family and demanded 300,000 RMB for his release.

Ten days later, the kidnappers bravely took him to the Pasay City police station where they ‘secretly’ filmed him while inside the station jail, the video of which they sent anew to the victim’s father. After leaving the Pasay police station, the victim was again taken to the kidnappers’ safehouse where he was again held captive until being released at around 10 p.m. of August 15.

Suspect Libo Xu was arrested after the victim positively identified him as one of the Chinese nationals who took him to the Pasay City police headquarters on the night of August 11. The suspect has been inquested for kidnapping-for-ransom with serious illegal detention before the Department of Justice. The other suspects were recommended to be subjected to preliminary investigation.

The PNP must get to the bottom of this incident amid ongoing effort by the PNP-AKG to arrest growing cases of casino-related kidnappings-for-ransom in the country which is giving the country a negative image abroad. Since 2017, there have been 52 recorded casino-related kidnappings in Metro Manila, investigations of which led in the arrest of 119 Chinese kidnappers.