Koreans in sex tourism case have left country?
Magpale verifying report, sets up meet with agencies, Korean Consul
The seven South Korean nationals who have been entangled in a sex tourism scandal barely two weeks ago have reportedly fled the country.
The report prompted Vice Governor Agnes Magpale to set up a meeting next Monday with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Bureau of Immigration, several presidents of different Korean associations in the area, as well as with the Korean consul general to discuss what actions to take against the Koreans if the report is proven true.
Special Agent Arnel Pura of the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) said the seven Koreans, who were charged with “”Use of Trafficked Persons” before the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office on Monday, posted P120,000 bail on Tuesday.
They were arrested last Friday or March 3.
Nine Koreans were arrested, but only seven were charged. The two others were not charged because, according to the NBI, during the raid they were not with their Filipina sex escorts.
The Koreans who were charged were Jongnam Ham, Jongin Han, Munsu Lee, Hosik Park, Joontae Kim, Jae Gyu Kim and Dongkil Kim.
The other two who were not charged were Namgyun Shin and Byeonghae Park.
Pura said that after the foreigners posted bail and their office received the order of release on Tuesday, they immediately delivered the Korean nationals to the Bureau of Immigration as the NBI’s task covers only the criminal aspect of the situation.
“They posted bail on Tuesday. We delivered and endorsed them to the Bureau of Immigration. The procedure when it comes to foreigners is that we would always refer to the Immigration. We don’t have a basis anymore for detaining them since they already posted bail. We turned them and their passports over to the Immigration,” Pura said in Cebuano.
Another source from a government agency (who asked not to be named), however, confirmed the report of the Koreans having already left the country and said that the Koreans left the Philippines last Wednesday on a 3:45 p.m. Cebu Pacific flight bound for Seoul, South Korea.
Magpale said that they failed to secure a hold-departure order on time against the Koreans because the events that unfolded happened quickly.
She said the approval of the bail and the order of release included a travel restriction that was apparently not heeded by the foreigners.
They applied for bail. It was allowed by the judge, but it was provided that their travel is restricted. They have to inform the court if they want to travel, which they did not do since they left the country immediately, she said in Cebuano.
At present, Magpale said that they are consulting with lawyers to see if they can have the Koreans extradited based on the extradition treaty between the country and South Korea and to see if trafficking is among those extraditable offenses.
“We are consulting with our lawyers right now. That’s why I’m having a meeting with the Korean consul because if we have an extradition treaty, we can have them arrested. We had already filed the case here. That’s what our lawyers said. Just the same, we will push through with our meeting invitation. We will let the consul general know what we would be doing,” she said in Cebuano.
Police attaché of the Korean consulate, Lee Yongsang, when sought for comment, said in a text message that the Korea Police Agency had already launched an investigation into the incident.
“For your reference, Korea Police Agency had already launched an investigation against the nine Koreans,” Lee said.
“And we, Korean Consulate, will relay a court request to nine Koreans if it is needed,” said Lee.
Subscribe to our regional newsletter
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.