Police raid houses that kept kidnapped Chinese casino players

Maan Macapagal, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2019 07:53 PM | Updated as of Jul 03 2019 08:21 PM

MANILA - Policemen on Wednesday raided properties which supposedly housed kidnapped Chinese casino players.

The Philippine National Police Anti Kidnapping Group (PNP AKG) simultaneously raided safe houses in Batangas and Las Piñas, allegedly used by a kidnap for ransom group targeting big-time Chinese casino players in the entertainment city. 

PNP AKG operatives raided houses in Banjo West, Tanauan, Batangas and Pulang Lupa I in Las Piñas City but suspects were not in the area. 

Police Brigadier General Glenn Dumlao, PNP AKG chief, said the suspects enticed casino high rollers to play in the Philippines.

“Ito 'yung grupo na nangingidnap ng mga businessman at mga players na big-time talaga. Hindi sila pumapatol ng mga nangungutang lang,"Dumlao said. 

(This kidnap-for-ransom group targets big-time players. They don't abduct regular casino players who take on loans.)

Dumlao said ransom was usually around 100 million Renminbi or P700 million. He said another victim, a Cyprus-based Chinese businessman was lured to invest in the Philippines and was abducted as soon as he arrived in the airport. 

One of the victims, Li Chao, was kidnapped by the group in a KTV Bar in Pasay last June 11. 

CCTV footage showed male suspects serving Chao a fake warrant of arrest and then forcing him to ride a van. Chao was released after paying P175 million in ransom money. 

Dumlao said the suspects pretended to be National Bureau of Investigation agents carrying out an operation. 

“Nagpanggap silang NBI, kawawa ang counterpart natin. Sa iba, ang ginamit pulis. They want to make it appear na legitimate law enforcement operation," he said.

(They pretend to be NBI agents, or cops.)

Another victim, Banjo West, was brought to Tanauan, Batangas. CCTV footage obtained by the PNP AKG showed how the SUV used in the kidnapping was disassembled in Batangas. 

In Las Piñas, authorities recovered NBI and police badges, police uniform, bonnets, and face masks. 

Guns, grenades, M-203 grenade launchers and bundles of P1,000 amounting to P1.3M were also found in the safe houses. 

PNP AKG is preparing the charges to be filed against the Chinese suspects including a Filipino leader for kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention. 

Other Chinese victims will return to the Philippines to file a complaint. 

For any information about the suspects, the PNP AKG may be reached through the following hotlines: 02-7266770 and 0927-3234894