CLOSE to 100 foreign fugitives were arrested by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) from January to August this year.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the number was more than double the 43 wanted aliens who were apprehended in the same period last year.
The bureau's Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) statistics showed that 61 South Koreans topped the list of the arrested fugitives, followed by 16 Chinese nationals, 15 Americans, three Taiwanese, a German, a Canadian, an Australian, a Bangladeshi, and a Pakistani.
It added that 55 of the arrested aliens were wanted for cybercrimes while 27 others were charged with fraud and economic crimes.
Also included are nine pedophiles wanted for sex offenses while the rest were charged with other crimes such as murder smuggling, identity theft, drug pushing, robbery, and human trafficking.
The BI chief said that catching and deporting alien fugitives will remain a top priority program of the bureau amid reports that many of them have used the country as a sanctuary while evading punishment for their crimes.
"They should not be hiding here. We should deport them back to their country where they should languish in jail after being tried, convicted and sentenced for their crimes,” he added.
On the other hand, FSU head Atty. Jose Carlitos Licas attributed the success of locating wanted foreigners believed to have fled to the Philippines, to the coordination with Interpol and police attachés of the different foreign missions in Manila.
The BI assistant intelligence chief added that they are working closely and sharing intelligence information with the said embassies that enabled BI operatives to locate and arrest the fugitives. (FP/Sunnex)