PRO-Central Visayas to probe ‘Korean mafia’

POLICE Regional Office-Central Visayas Director Noli Taliño said he will order an investigation on the alleged presence of a Korean mafia in Cebu.

President Rodrigo Duterte said last Saturday night (February 4) in Davao City that rogue personalities from South Korea are allegedly operating an illegal drug trade and prostitution ring in Cebu.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Central Visayas Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz confirmed Duterte’s statement.

For his part, Taliño said he already heard about the foreigners reportedly operating drug and prostitution rings in Cebu after he assumed office in July last year. An inquiry coordinated with the Korean police attache yielded an unvalidated result.

The official later received reports about the “internal conflict” among Koreans in the region, which has reportedly become a source of extortion.

Some legitimate Korean businessmen were asked for protection money. If they failed to give, their fellow nationals would blackmail them.

Taliño said he will also check the cases involving Koreans.

He said most of the Koreans committed non-index crimes, violations of special laws such as those against illegal drugs, gambling, and loose firearms. There have been no kidnapping cases.

In September last year, PDEA-Central Visayas arrested a Korean tourist guide and a Filipino companion in a buy-bust in Lapu-Lapu City.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said that they will welcome any complainants, may they be Korean or Filipino, who are victimized by this alleged Korean mafia.

Lawyer Patricio Bernales Jr. told SunStar Cebu that there were reports of Koreans duping millions of pesos from their fellow Koreans but it didn’t lead into a more organized group.

He said he is confident of the information received by the president, saying that they would immediately operate once they are given the go-signal from the higher office.
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