Philippine Police Arrest 5 Chinese over Alleged Kidnap Attempt

Basilio Sepe
Philippine Police Arrest 5 Chinese over Alleged Kidnap Attempt A Philippine police officer escorts arrested Chinese nationals allegedly involved in the kidnapping of a Singaporean woman in Manila, July 20, 2017.

Philippine police said Friday that they rescued the victim of an attempted kidnapping and apprehended five members of a gang suspected of targeting fellow Chinese nationals, along with a Filipino who served as their driver.

The six suspects were arrested in the Manila suburb of Paranaque city on Thursday, national police chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said. Witnesses had reported the abduction of a 23-year-old Chinese employee of an offshore casino operation shortly after noon Thursday outside a hotel in Manila, the chief said.  

“The commotion caught the attention of hotel security personnel who immediately reported the incident,” Eleazar said. “Immediately, duty personnel responded, resulting in the arrest of the suspects. The arrested suspects are now under the custody of Parañaque City Police Station for proper investigation and filing of appropriate charges.

“We are also grateful for the immediate response of our community to rescue the victim and prevent him from possible harm at the hands of these kidnappers,” he said. 

About 150,000 Chinese nationals are employed in the Philippines’ offshore gaming industry, which has seen a boom since President Rodrigo Duterte took power in 2016. 

Duterte has fostered friendly relations with Beijing, despite bilateral differences over contending territorial claims in the South China Sea, and welcomed Chinese investors as well as tourists and workers. Duterte in the past has resisted calls to put a freeze on the influx of Chinese nationals. 

With the influx, gangs from mainland China have preyed on their countrymen working in the Philippine casino industry, police said. 

In January, police in Manila apprehended eight suspected Chinese kidnappers, including its leader, over an alleged abduction of fellow nationals identified as Lyu Long and Liu Xue Xue who worked at a Chinese-owned electronics firm.

Their supervisor paid 400,000 Chinese renminbi (U.S. $62,000) in ransom for Lyu but his captors did not release the victim. The company then informed police about the abduction “after receiving information that Lyu Long was killed and dumped in a deep ravine,” Maj. Gen. Joel Napoleon Coronel, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, said at the time.

In July 2017, Philippine police arrested 43 foreigners – many of them Chinese nationals – who were suspected of kidnapping a Singaporean woman, who was gambling at a local casino, and holding her for ransom. Police rescued the woman during a raid on the suspects’ hideout in the Metropolitan Manila area.

Meanwhile on Friday, the Bureau of Immigration announced the arrest of 15 Chinese nationals caught working in warehouses in suburban Bacoor city, south of Manila, following raids on Wednesday.

“Despite the pandemic, our intelligence teams are actively investigating reports of illegal aliens staying in our country,” bureau Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a news release. “We urge foreign nationals to legitimize their stay here in the country, lest they face expulsion and blacklisting.”

The 15 are to undergo COVID-19 testing and quarantine before being detained at the bureau’s facility in Taguig, Metro Manila, pending deportation.

Jeoffrey Maitem in Cotabato City, Philippines, contributed to this report.


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