DOJ junks raps vs 33 foreigners suspected as KFR members

MANILA-- The Department of Justice (DoJ) dismissed the kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention case filed against 30 out of the 44 foreigners arrested by joint operatives of Bureau of Immigration (BI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) who are believed to be members of a kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) group targeting casino high rollers in the country.

The 44 foreigners, mostly Chinese nationals, were arrested last July 18 by the joint operatives from BI and the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) that led to the rescue of Singaporean victim Wu Yan, who was allegedly kidnapped by the respondents from the Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City.

In a nine-page resolution dated July 20 but was released to media on Tuesday, investigating Assistant State Prosecutor Philip Dela Cruz dismissed the case against the 30 foreigners for lack of evidence.

A careful perusal of the records revealed that respondents had not been identified by the complainant as part of the group that kidnapped her. Not an iota of evidence was presented to show that they conspired with the alleged kidnappers of complainant Wu Yan, read the resolution as approved by Acting Prosecutor General Jorge Catalan Jr.

"Not even a single act can be imputed against them. Since criminal liability is personal then absence of proof as to their participation to the alleged kidnapping indubitably will result to the dismissal of the complaint against said respondents," it explained further.

The DoJ ordered the 30 Chinese nationals namely Li Jia Long, Pan Wei Jun, Chen Chao Yi, Chen Guo Xiong, Wang Min, Meng Hao, Pao Xi, Huan Dong Chuan, Yan Xiao Tao, Lin Bing Wen, Kang Cai Chun, Xie Qing Yun, Lin Zhi Tian, Li Lian Den, Qing Chi, Zhu Chong Guang, Lin Feng Bin, Liu Pang, Zhang Fu Xing, Li Yun, Zeng Wei, Wang Fei, Zhang Cheng Jian, Lin Chao, Zou Guan Bao, Rong Yi Wang, Li Hong Bing, Yuan Dan, Huan Tian Peng and Lin Yun Longwere ordered released from detention in PNP headquarters in Camp Crime, Quezon City, but will be deported back to China.

On the other hand, the 14 foreigners would remain in detention pending the conduct of a preliminary investigation on their case.

The 14 foreign nationals are Ng Yu Meng, Goh Kok Keong, Chen Jing Wang, Chen Cheng Feng, Deng KOng Zhi, Ou Min, Chen Jia Yang, Cai Si Yang, Cheng Zai Zheng, Zheng Wei Xiong, Wu Shi Zhu, Huang Lifang, Li Xiang Hu and Ou Fang. The respondents appeared before the DOJ last Monday and submitted their counter-affidavits.

They denied bringing the victim to nearby Bayview International Towers condominium in Pasay City where she was allegedly beaten up and asked to cough up USD 180,000 (PHP 9 million) for her release.

During the Monday hearing, the lawyer of Wu sought time to file a reply to the respondents' counter-affidavits. Investigating Asst. State Prosecutor Phillip Deal Cruz gave their camp until July 31 to answer before the case would be submitted for resolution.

The Bureau of Immigration has already started deportation proceedings against the 44 arrested foreigners for being undesirable aliens and for violating the conditions of their stay as tourists.

But under the law, the arrested foreigners would be deported only after the criminal proceedings against them are completed and after they have served the sentences if found guilty by court.

Source: Philippine News Agency