Authorities nab Korean ‘gang member’

·2 min read

A KOREAN national who is an alleged member of a Korean gang in his home country was caught inside a mall in Barangay Apas, Cebu City on Wednesday afternoon, June 2, 2021.

Kim Byung-gon, 43, was apprehended by the operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) 7.

Kim is facing a criminal case in South Korea for allegedly swindling millions from his fellow countrymen.

The arrest was based on a warrant of arrest issued by a court in South Korea.

The CIDG 7 operatives carried with them a mission order dated May 24, 2021 that was issued by Immigration Fugitive Unit Commissioner Jaime Morente, directing law enforcers to apprehend Kim.

CIDG 7 Director Col. Ireneo Dalogdog said their field office in Lapu-Lapu City had received a communication from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) 7, which gave the information about Kim from the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA).

According to the KNPA, Kim is a wanted person in Korea as he allegedly was able to swindle around 200 million in South Korean won, which is over 8 million in Philippine peso. GANGS IN KOREA

Members of organized crime groups in South Korea are called “geondal” or “jopok,” while their counterparts in the unorganized street gangs are called “kkangpae.” More recently, some transnational organized criminal groups in the Korean Peninsula have been quick to identify ways of exploiting the shift in market landscape brought on by responses to the pandemic, particularly in cybercrime, fraud and smuggling. For example, a number of scams have been reported where fraudsters prey on their victims’ heightened vulnerability during the pandemic. In February, the South Korean government warned the public of a rise in scam text messages.

SOURCES: WIKIPEDIA, GINETWORK

Modus

Kim’s alleged modus is akin to an investment scam here in the country—persuading his fellow countrymen to invest millions in Korean won for a higher return.

Dalogdog said the Korean national admitted to the investigators that there are other personalities who backed the investment scam as they are a group.

Kim told the authorities that he was just accused as the leader.

After he was charged in South Korea, he flew out of his country and went into hiding in Cebu.

Locating Kim

Local authorities have yet to ascertain when Kim arrived in Cebu and if he had duped more Koreans living in Central Visayas. It was also not clear where the swindled money was hidden.

The KNPA’s investigation led to locating Kim in Cebu.

The CIDG 7 Lapu-Lapu field office acted on the information.

The operatives led by Maj. Lirio Coral, accompanied by immigration officers and Korean police officers, arrested Kim, who was residing in a condominium at Cebu IT Park in Barangay Apas.

The Korean fugitive was brought to the BI central office in Metro Manila on Thursday, June 3, to process his papers for deportation. (AYB / KAL)

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