MANILA - The Bureau of Immigration announced Wednesday its first ever mass deportation of 47 South Korean fugitives wanted for various crimes in their homeland.
The Koreans were deported last Thursday and were turned over to Korean police authorities upon their arrival at the international airport in Incheon, said BI Commissioner Jaime Morente.
Forty-five of the deportees left on board a Jeju Air flight from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) while 2 others, who were arrested in Cebu, departed from Mactan, he said.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II led the justice and immigration officials in the fugitives' turnover to the Korean police, Morente added.
“All of them were expelled pursuant to deportation orders issued by our board of commissioners and they were all placed in our blacklist of undesirable aliens to prevent them from re-entering the Philippines,” Morente said.
He said the measure was in line with the BI’s efforts to de-congest its detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City, where some detainees have been “overstaying” in their cells even if there were no more legal impediments to their deportation.
“We have secured the necessary clearances to make sure that they have no pending civil and criminal cases before our courts,” the BI chief said.
Most of the deportees are wanted in Korea for swindling and internet fraud, including voice phishing, while 2 of them are wanted for assault and physical injuries and another faces drugs-related charges, said Ma. Antonette Mangrobang, BI spokesperson.
Also among the group were 7 overstaying Koreans who voluntary requested that they be deported.
“All of them were arrested in separate operations by operatives from our fugitive search unit in various places throughout the country over the past several months,” Mangrobang said, adding that the arrests were made at the request of the Interpol and Korean embassy in Manila.