Police verifying if Chinese woman in viral abduction video is safely home

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 16 2019 08:44 AM | Updated as of Dec 16 2019 09:00 AM

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MANILA — Police said Monday it was verifying whether or not a Chinese woman abducted by van-riding men from Makati's financial district had returned home safe, as claimed by her partner. 

The victim Zhou Mei supposedly returned to her home on Sunday morning, said Makati police investigation chief Maj. Gideon Ines, citing a text message from her partner Chen Tangbin and the security guards at their condominium unit. 

"Hindi ko pa po nako-confirm iyon, kung talagang nakauwi na, hangga't di ko po nakikita po. Yung asawa niya po ang nakapagtext sa akin at yung mga security guard doon sa condo na ni-logbook na nila na nakauwi na yung asawa," he told radio DZMM. 

(I have yet to confirm if she has really returned home, until I see her. Her partner and the security guards at their condo texted me that they wrote in their logbook that she has returned.) 

The couple will report to the Makati police on Monday, said Ines, who did not give any other details about Mei's alleged return. 

Police earlier deemed Chen and his friend his friend Zhu Jianwe as persons of interest in the abduction because their names appeared in the deed of sale for a Honda Accord worth P1 million that was recovered at the crime scene. 

Chen, who is unemployed, also gave police inconsistent statements about his whereabouts during the abduction, Ines earlier said. 

Investigators have located a condominium unit was used by Zhou's abductors in Pasay, where expired passports, several IDs and a pair of handcuffs were found, said Ines. 

One of 4 suspects already left the country, based on Immigration records, he said. 

The victims is an employee of a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO). 

The Philippines has seen a spike in the arrival of Chinese tourists and workers since President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in mid-2016 and immediately set about warming relations with Beijing.

The influx has had a mixed impact in the Philippines, with authorities suspecting many of the arrivals are working illegally in the online gambling industry. 

-- With a report from Agence France-Presse 

DZMM, Dec. 16, 2019