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‘Luffy’ finally deported – Tansingco

Photo shows (left) Yuki Watanabe and Tomonobu Saito prior to deportation. (JERRY S. TAN)

“Luffy has finally been deported. We wish to also thank the Japanese government for their cooperation in our efforts to expedite their return.”

This was the pronouncement made by Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco, as he reported that the two remaining gang members wanted in Japan, namely Tomonobu Saito, 45, and Yuki Watanabe, 38, have both been deported on the evening of February 8, aboard a Japan Airlines flight to Tokyo.

Tansingco said Tomonobu and Yuki are two of the four foreigners suspected by Japanese authorities to be key members of a gang that committed a string of violent crimes in Tokyo.

Tomonobu, with a known alias of Kojima Tomonobu, and Yuki, with known aliases Kenjie Watanabe and Kenjie Shimada, were both arrested on April 19, 2021 in a hotel in Paranaque by the BI’s intelligence Division, together with the National Bureau of Investigation.

While Tomonobu is considered a wanted fugitive in Japan with a standing arrest warrant for theft, Yuki reportedly has an arrest warrant for use of counterfeit official marks and theft.

All four were deported for being undesirable aliens, due to their status as wanted fugitives and as a consequence of deportation, said Japanese nationals have been included in the BI’s blacklist, effectively barring their return to the Philippines.

“Yesterday, we received confirmation that the local cases of the two remaining suspects have been dismissed by the courts. This means there is no more legal impediment for us to implement their deportation,” said Tansingco.

“We thank the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their continued assistance in expediting the resolution of the local cases of these deportees, so we can finally send them back for them to face their crimes,” he added.

Tansingco said that they will be discussing with the DOJ actions that need to be taken to expedite local cases of foreign nationals, to be able to decongest the BI’s holding facility in Taguig.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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