South Korean suspect in Jee kidnap-slay case nabbed

MANILA — Immigration officials arrested Monday an overstaying South Korean national tagged as an accomplice in last year’s kidnapping and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo.

In a statement, Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente said Edward Yoo Hoon, 33, is now detained at the BI detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City after his arrest by the bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU).

Arresting agents were armed with a warrant of deportation when they went to the foreigner’s house along Forest Street, Carmenville Subd., Angeles City.

“It appears that he (Hoon) had been staying in the country for more than 10 years already because according to the deportation order he became an overstaying and undocumented alien on Jan. 25, 2008,” he said.

Morente noted that the South Korean will not be deported yet as he will undergo a thorough investigation for his reported involvement in the Oct. 30, 2016 abduction and murder of Jee.

“He will be deported only after he has served his sentence, if convicted, of the crime,” the BI chief added.

FSU chief Bobby Raquepo said Hoon is tagged as a person of interest in the Jee case after informants claimed that he arranged the payoff of the Php5 million ransom money that the victim’s wife gave the kidnappers.

He revealed that the arrested Korean is the subject of an immigration lookout bulletin that the BI issued on Jan. 28 this year pursuant to a directive from Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

According to investigators, the victim was strangled to death by his captors in Camp Crame, Quezon City where he was brought hours after he was kidnapped by the suspects in Angeles City.