ZAMBOANGA CITY: A Korean businessman was abducted by armed men suspected to be members of the Abu Sayyaf Group on Thursday night in a remote village in Zamboanga Sibugay.
Capt. Franco Suelto, spokesman of the 1st Infantry Division, identified the Korean as Li Pei Zhei, 25.
Initial investigation showed that the gunmen barged into the house of Li in Kabansalan town at around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The gunmen fled with the victim in a blue-colored multi-cab with plate number JBH 581 towards Sitio Mangahas in Barangay Timuay Danda, 130 kilometers away from Zamboanga City. Police later found the van burning.
Suelto said that from Kaban-salan, the armed men transferred to a waiting motorized pump boat which sped off to a nearby town of Naga.
Suelto pointed out though that they have yet to confirmed the identities of the suspects or the group behind the abduction.
He added that the Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion has already a search and rescue operation and set up checkpoints in various areas.
Just recently, the Korean Embassy expressed alarm over the rising number of Koreans killed by criminals in the Philippines since early this year.
Ambassador Hyuk Lee warned that Korean businessmen will avoid the Philippines and seek safer places for doing business if crimes against Koreans persist.
“The rising incidence of crimes committed against Koreans while in the Philippines either on vacation or on business is a trend that has alarmed the embassy of the Republic of Korea,” he said.
Lee said specific measures should be adopted by law enforcement agencies to prevent Koreans from being targeted by kidnap and robbery gangs.
The United Korean Community Association in the Philippines has started raising funds to support the investigation efforts of the police in relation to crimes committed against Korean nationals in the Philippines.