2 abducted Chinese businessmen found dead in Philippines: police

Families tried to pay ransoms for their release but lost contact with the kidnappers, authorities say.
BenarNews staff
2024.07.03
Manila
2 abducted Chinese businessmen found dead in Philippines: police Philippine Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. speaks to reporters in Manila following the arrests of four police officers on charges linked to the kidnapping of four foreign tourists, June 5, 2024.
AP

Two Chinese nationals who had been missing for days were found dead in the central Philippines, authorities said Wednesday, the latest in high-profile crimes targeting expatriates.

The men, identified as Xia Ke Fu and Jimmy Jing Sun, arrived in Manila last month for a planned meeting on a possible business venture with an unknown local partner in the city of Naga in the eastern Philippines, authorities said.

Their relatives did not hear from them and subsequently contacted local police. Eight days after their arrival, officers on June 28 verified the remains of the two, national police spokeswoman Col. Jean Fajardo told reporters in Manila.

“They arrived here on June 20 supposedly to meet Chinese nationals for a business transaction in our country, but when they arrived at the airport they were picked up,” Fajardo said on Wednesday. “The following day, their families received a demand for ransom amounting to 5 million yuan [U.S. $687,732].”

She said the victims’ families had managed to negotiate a lower ransom of 3 million Chinese yuan ($412,639), which they wired to the kidnappers. But the suspects could no longer be contacted. 

The families then reached out police. After receiving a tip, officers went to the town of Tigaon in eastern Camarines Sur province, accompanied by the victims’ families, according to authorities. 

Maj. Michael Albania, the local police chief, said a 13-year-old boy found the bodies of both men “wrapped in a blanket beside a cliff.” 

Family members identified one of the victims as Xia Ke Fu, 39, a marketing director at Suzhou RainMed Medical Technology and an alumnus of Hunan City University.  Police did not release details of how the second victim was identified.

Investigators said they have suspects in the case, but did not name them because of the ongoing manhunt.

Anti-crime cooperation

On Monday, officials from Manila and Beijing agreed to boost their cooperation efforts against transnational crimes including offshore gaming operations in the Philippines, without specifically discussing this incident.

A day later, the Philippine Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission released a statement supporting the agreement.

“The strengthened cooperation between China and the Philippines sends a clear message to criminal syndicates operating across borders that their malicious activities will not be tolerated or allowed to undermine the security and stability of these nations,” the commission said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Embassy in Manila issued a statement urging Philippine authorities to arrest and severely punish the suspects as soon as possible.

It also reminded Chinese citizens in the Philippines to be vigilant and aware of security precautions.

“After the kidnap took place, the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines stayed in close touch with the Philippine side and urged it to make every possible effort to work on the case and take effective measures to protect the safety of Chinese nationals in the Philippines,” Mao Ning, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, told reporters in Beijing on Tuesday.

Crimes against Chinese

The case was the latest criminal act targeting Chinese nationals.

Last month, three Chinese tourists were allegedly abducted by four police officers, including a police major, in Manila. The police officers, all assigned in the country’s capital region, have been arrested and face robbery, kidnapping, and car theft charges.

In June 2021, police rescued an abducted Chinese national who had worked as a casino employee and arrested five members of a Chinese crime gang and a Filipino getaway driver in Manila. 

Earlier, police arrested eight members of a Chinese crime gang in January 2021 who were linked to the kidnappings of Chinese employees at an electronics firm. One of the hostages was freed, but the other was later found dead, his body dumped in a ravine.

Jojo Riñoza and Gerard Carreon in Manila contributed to this report.

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COMMENTS

Shirley
Jul 07, 2024 10:51 PM

I was thinking about vacationing in the Philippines but changed my mind, what a scary place!