Taiwanese POGO worker stranded in PH wrongly reported as ‘KFR victim’

A 36-YEAR-OLD Taiwanese national who wrongly reported himself to be a ‘kidnapping-for-ransom victim’ has turned out to be a POGO worker who got stranded in the country as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group which investigated the case said yesterday.

According to PNP-AKG director, Brigadier General Jonnel C. Estomo, they launched an investigation into the reported kidnapping of Yang Chiang Chung following a report from Taiwan police attache in Manila, Colonel Jerry Wang.

Accordingly, the supposed KFR victim contacted Wang thru  WeChat and told the official that he is being held against his will inside Room 1419 of Heliconia Tower in Tivoli Garden Residences located at no. 69 Coronado Street in Mandaluyong City.

Acting on the information from the Taiwan police official, Brig. Gen. Estomo said he ordered his men to launch a rescue operation at the identified alleged kidnappers’ safehouse at 2 p.m. last Thursday.

During the operation which was coordinated by PNP-AKG operatives with the local police and the condominium’s security officers, they were able to rescue Chiang-Chung and invited for questioning four ‘persons of interest’ identified as Chinese nationals Zhang Zhanzhan, Cheng Zhenze and You Liang and Indonesian national Muhammad Zainal Basri.

During questioning at the PNP-AKG headquarters in Camp Crame, they discovered that the four ‘POIs’ were merely co-workers of the Taiwanese national who was recruited to join a supposed high-paying job in a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) company in Manila.

The PNP-AKG director said they have established that the still unidentified employer of the foreigners temporarily closed the company due to the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine last month.

Estomo said after learning of the business shutdown, the Taiwanese decided to withdraw his passport from his employer but failed to do so. He later said he was instructed by an unknown person not to leave his room and to call his family in Taiwan and ask them to pay the amount of 20,000 RMB for his liberty and release of his passport.

Estomo said that alarmed, the Taiwanese national contacted Col. Wang who forwarded the complaint to their office.

During their meeting at Camp Crame, the supposed Taiwanese KFR victim told Col. Wang he just wanted to get his passport back to be able to return to Taiwan.