Police role in Korean’s kidnapping probed

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The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is investigating a police officer who was allegedly involved in the kidnapping of a South Korean last October 18 in Angeles City, Pampanga.

NBI National Capital Region chief Ric Diaz clarified that although kidnapping charges were already filed against the police officer, his two companions and five others before the Department of Justice, his team is still looking at other angles like carjacking, robbery or even tokhang.

Tokhang is a police operation wherein operatives knock on the door of suspected drug user, peddler or even drug lord and arrest him.

Diaz refused to identify the involved police officer who is now under restrictive custody of the police.
He said the kidnap victim is neither a drug user nor a drug pusher.


“We are looking into that angle of tokhang-extortion,” Ross Galicia, head of NBI Task Force Against Illegal Drugs, told a news conference.

The family of kidnap victim Ick Joo Jee, a high-ranking officer of Hanjin shipbuilding company, was able to give P5 million to the kidnappers last October 31 but the South Korean was not released to them.

The kidnappers were asking for an additional P4 million but this time the family insisted on “proof of life.”

Kyungchi Choi, wife of Ick, who was present at the news conference, is offering P100,000 for any information that will lead to the rescue of her husband.

Diaz said Choi came to the NBI last November to seek help.

Ick was abducted by armed men last October 18 in Angeles City at their residence on Block 6 Lot 4, Arayat Street, Frienship Plaza Subdivision.

The kidnappers also ran away with jewelry, passport of Jee’s daughter, black Ford Explorer (ABT 1915) and other personal belongings.

Philippine National Police chief Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa met Jee’s wife on Wednesday and assured her of swift police action to rescue and arrest the kidnappers,
PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said.

Media reports said that two men claiming to be policemen went to Ick’s house on October 18 supposedly to conduct a search operation under the PNP’s Project Tokhang.

The South Korean businessman was instead dragged by several men into a waiting black car.

The wife said the kidnappers demanded a ransom of P8 million, which was later reduced to P5 million after negotiations.

The wife delivered the ransom but her husband was not released by the suspects.
She said the kidnappers asked for another P4.5 million, which the woman could no longer deliver.

The PNP chief also on Wednesday mobilized operating units of the PNP for a manhunt for a former member of a
PNP anti-drug unit who is believed to be involved in the kidnapping of the South Korean businessman.

Dela Rosa has also asket the Department of Justice to assign a special prosecutor who will handle the case.

WITH ANTHONY VARGAS

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