Monday, February 20, 2012

Philippines: Ten Police Officers Sought in Connection with Kidnapping of South Korean Tourists

Philippine authorities have ordered the arrest of ten police officers wanted in connection with the kidnapping of four South Korean tourists. Additionally, Alfredo Lim, mayor of Manila, has ordered the ten to be dropped from the police rolls on the basis that they fled on February 14, shortly after the kidnapping occurred.

Reportedly, a tourist guide in South Korea was allegedly arrested last week for conspiring with the ten police officers in the abduction. The guide, Choi Jang Tae, arrived in Manila with with a group of twelve South Korean tourists for a four-day excursion, but enticed four of them to go shopping with him while the group was in Manila.

A short time thereafter, while walking in a popular mall frequented by tourists, the four South Koreans were confronted by four gunmen who forced them into a van and sped off.

The four tourists were then told by their captors they would be charged with illegal possession of drugs unless they paid $30,000. Another South Korean tour guide later facilitated the transfer of the money, although he has since been arrested for complicity in the conspiracy.

COMMENT: Unfortunately, corruption and misconduct within the national police has been an endemic problem for years, which has adversely affected tourism. Please see my August 20, 2011 posting entitled, "Family Members of Hong Kong Tourists Killed in Manila in 2010 to Commemorate Their Loss."

In 2011, five Philippine police officers were also terminated after they forced a German tourist to buy laptops for them by threatening to charge him with terrorism.

As further background, if you go to the search component within the voluminous list of my nearly 1,000 postings, simply type in the Philippines, to capture an overview of the level of criminality in the Philippines generally, but in Metro Manila, specifically.


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