Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Philippines: Leader of Major South Korean Crime Syndicate, 63, Found Overstaying His Visa

According to AFP, one of South Korea's most wanted fugitives, Cho Yang-Eun, 63, the alleged head of a major crime syndicate, was arrested in the Philippines on Tuesday (November 26) after hiding out in the country for two years and overstaying his visa.

Immigration Bureau spokeswoman Angelica Pedro told reporters that Cho had allegedly founded the Yangeuni Family, one of the biggest gangs in South Korea, in 1978.

A South Korean Embassy representative in Manila confirmed Cho's extensive criminal enterprises and requested his deportation to Seoul. 

COMMENT: Cho, who is facing charges for allegedly embezzling US$2.5 million from a South Korean bank, was arrested while leaving a casino in Angeles City, about 75 kilometers (46 miles) north of Manila, the immigration bureau said.

Cho entered the country as a tourist in 2011, but never renewed his visa. South Korea revoked his passport in March 2012, rendering him an undocumented alien and paving the way for his deportation.

South Korea has become the top source of foreign tourists to the Philippines in recent years, with over 822,000 coming to the Southeast Asian archipelago during the first eight months of 2013, government indicate.

Although the Immigration Bureau reported Cho's arrest, it seems apparent that the Bureau was remiss in not ordering his arrest at the time his tourist visa expired, presumably some nineteen months ago. 

It is fortuitous that Cho didn't seek out another country to hole up in in order to escape the clutches of the South Korean government. 

Unfortunately for Cho, he failed to renew his tourist visa, which might have enabled him to indefinitely evade Philippine immigration law.