Saturday July 21, 2018

Central Visayas police to probe Kenneth Dong

THE Central Visayas police will conduct an investigation on Cebu-based businessman Kenneth Dong, who was tagged as middleman of Richard Tan, owner of Hong Fei Logistics where the shipment of 605 kilos of shabu from China was delivered.

Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas Director Jose Mario Espino said they will look into the links of Dong, the owner of Liv Super Club in Mandaue City.

The investigation, he added, will start after the Senate and House of Representatives' inquiry.

Espino said Camp Crame did not order them to carry out the investigation, but it his office's initiative.

The police official said they will also check the background of Dong.

“When you say background investigation, it includes everything -- his personal background, his businesses that include his financial connection,” he said.

Initial information received by PRO-Central Visayas showed that Dong had not imported any foreign products into Cebu.

“So far, we were quite surprised that Kenneth Dong is based here in Cebu,” Espino said.

The official further said they will sit with Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) 7 and Bureau of Customs 7 on how to put in place counter-measures against possible shipment of shabu in the future.

He said they are now looking into three personalities who are linked to illegal drug trade: Dong, Peter Lim, and Franz Sabalones.

The PDEA 7, meanwhile, said it had investigated Cebu-based businessman, Kenneth Dong, last year after the talks from the business community on his “unusual wealth.”

PDEA-7 Director Yogi Ruiz revealed that they started the investigation based on reports and sent out agents to check the traffic of people going in and out of LIV Superclub in Mandaue, reportedly owned by Dong.

“Mr. Dong is not a native of Cebu. He just built his business in Cebu and now has been managing it for seven years. We’re looking at his unusual his unusual wealth during that time,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz said that the “chismis” (gossip) could be worth an investigation.

“There are some reports that I receive among conversations with our partners and stakeholders, and if the information is worthy of sending agents, we made some checks during that time,” Ruiz said.

Former Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Undersecretary Atty. Paul Oaminal, also pushed for the authorities to find the link between Richard Tan, a Chinese businessman who facilitated the shipping of P6.5 billion worth of shabu in the country to Calvin de Jesus Tan, a drug manufacturer caught in a mega shabu laboratory in Mandaue last 2004.

Oaminal said he believed that the two operated the same way in Cebu.

“I encourage them to monitor closely Calvin Tan in the National Bilibid Prisons and they may have relations with Richard Tan,” Oaminal said.

Dong was invited by the Blue Ribbon Committee in the senate hearing after he was identified by broker Mark Ruben Taguba II as Tan’s “middleman.”


Meanwhile, Espino also welcomes former legislator Antonio Cuenco’s offer to testify against Lim, saying he can help.

PRO 7 and PDEA 7, he said, will meet next week to discuss the drug situation in Central Visayas.

They will analyze the arrests to determine the source of shabu in the region. (JOB, KAL)