3 int’l fugitives hunted by Interpol arrested

August 05, 2020

THREE South Korean nationals arrested last June 22 by agents of the National Capital Region Field Unit of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group for involvement in a massive fraud have turned out to be international fugitives wanted by the Interpol,  CIDG-NCR chief, Colonel Arnold Thomas C. Ibay said yesterday.

In a report to PNP-CIDG director, Major General Joel Napoleon M. Coronel, the official said on Tuesday morning, the suspects identified as Hyeoksoo Kwon,39; Dong Woo Sim,39; and Yeongjun Lim,36, were served an Interpol Red Notice at their detention cell at the Southern Metro Manila District Field Unit of the CIDG-NCR inside the Southern Police Compound in Fort Bonifacio.

The Interpol Red Notice means that the suspects are in for a lot of trouble. It turned out that the Seoul Central District Court on June 18, 2020 sentenced Yeongjun Lim to a 10-year imprisonment.

The same jail term was meted by the same court to Dong Woo Sim  and Hyeoksoo Kown last July 10.

All three were tagged as members of the Korean criminal group involved in illegal voice phishing and online loan fraud in both South Korea and The Philippines.

Ibay said they served the Interpol Red Notice to the three in coordination with the Fugitive Search Unit of the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation.

Last June 22, CIDG-NCR agents arrested for their involvement in a massive online fraud which has victimized their compatriots of tens of millions in the past.

The three, all residents of Unit 302 of Lucerne Building, Asteria Residences in Barangay San Isidro, Parañaque City were arrested following a complaint from their fellow Korean Gunse Lee,35, who informed  the CIDG-NCR he is being detained against his will by the accused after they discovered that he is tipping off their illegal activities to the authorities.

According to the complainant, the suspects are involved in ‘voice phishing’ in which they have enticed their compatriots here and abroad to invest in highly-profitable business ventures in the country.

However, the syndicate requires their targets to first deposit money in their accounts supposedly for ‘processing and advance interest.’

The scheme is believed to have defrauded dozens of unsuspecting Korean nationals of millions of dollars in the past.

Ibay said the complainant, a resident of Bulacan, turned out to be the latest victim of the gang who was detained by the suspects when they sensed he was already feeding information about their group to the police.

During the June 22 operation, the CIDG-NCR chief said members of the CIDG Southern Metro Manila District Field Unit led by Lieutenant Col. Reyson Bagain and a team of officers from the National Capital Region Police Office Regional Intelligence Division headed by Captain Narrolf Tan rescued the victim and arrested the three. “Officers found the three Koreans in the act of making online transactions while keeping the complainant captive,” Ibay said.

Recovered during the raid were seven cellular phones, four KT landlines, two pre-paid Wi-Fi modem,  one router, assorted documents in Korean language and other computer and phone accessories.