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Korean kidnap victim's kin paid P8-M ransom to cop-led ring - report

Logo of the PNP's anti-illegal drugs group, where a police officer tagged in the abduction of a Korean businessman in Pampanga belongs.
The online news portal of TV5

ANGELES CITY, Philippines – The wife of a Korean businessman abducted in October allegedly by a police-led ring that barged into his house on a feigned anti-drug mission actually paid a total P8 million to the kidnappers, not just P5 million as earlier reported, police files indicate.

Despite payment of the P8 million - an initial demand of P5 million, later followed up with a P3 million, both sums taken on the same day - the kidnappers did not release businessman Ick Jee Joo. 

The abductors turned out to be led by a PNP officer attached with the PNP anti-drug group. On Monday, PNP chief Director Ronald dela Rosa had aired his hopes that the victim is still alive, despite being missing since the abductors took the cash from a car parked by his wife at a drop-off point.

Dela Rosa said the police officer, whom he declined to name so as not to jeopardize ongoing operations against his cohorts, is now under restrictive custody at Camp Crame.

The Korean was abducted by a band of heavily armed men sometime in October last year with househelper Marissa Dawis.

Since the abduction at Timog Park Subdivision at Barangay Pampang here, Joo remained missing and is feared dead by authorities.  

Dawis sought refuge at the residence of her older brother in Valenzuela City after she was freed by the suspects.  She was brought back to Angeles City by her relatives and they informed the local police of the incident.

According to a report filed by Senior Inspector Jonathan Rabanal, officer-on-case, the pay-off happened at the parking lot of Central Town Mall situated along Friendship Highway corner Angeles-Porac Road at Barangay Cutcut, Angeles City on Oct. 31, 2016.

Rabanal's report said the suspects, allegedly led by a senior police officer 3 detailed at the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) in Camp Crame, took the bag of money from the vehicle - a late model Honda Civic without license plates -  of Joo’s wife, identified as Mrs. Choi.

Before the pay-off, Rabanal's report said one of the suspects instructed Choi to initially produce P5,000,000, and another P3,000,000, to be delivered on the night of Oct, 31 at a spot between Puregold and Jollibee along Porac-Angeles Road.

In her sworn statement, Mrs. Choi stated that she was instructed by the man on the other end of the phone to park the vehicle and leave the engine running, with doors unlocked. She was also told to get inside the burger restaurant where she supposedly was to meet her husband.

Mrs. Choi said in her statement she was with her nephew and stayed for more than 30 minutes inside the burger restaurant.

“After more than 30 minutes we went back to our car only to find out that the bags of money are gone,” said Choi's statement.

Despite the ransom payment, Choi stated further, her husband remained in captivity and was not released. She said she got another call after two days and this time, the suspect was asking for P4.5 million as additional ransom, but she declined until they (suspects) can show proof of life.

Besides, Choi said, she had no more money.

The PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group-Luzon Field Unit (AFG-LFU) filed criminal charges pf kidnapping-for-ransom and serious illegal detention against the police officer, of Tierra Nova, Royale ll Subdivision, Caloocan City; his driver and three other John Does.