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4 Koreans charged with kidnapping fellow Korean in Cebu


10:02 PM September 2nd, 2011

By: Chito O. Aragon, September 2nd, 2011 10:02 PM

CEBU CITY—Four Koreans are facing criminal charges for kidnapping a fellow Korean here last month.

The Criminal Detection and Investigation Group (CIDG) in Central Visayas filed kidnapping for ransom charges against Kim Jong Seok, Choi Se Yong and two unidentified Koreans at the city prosecutor’s office on Thursday.

They were charged with kidnapping Kwon Young Hoon, 28, last Aug. 21, just a few hours after he arrived in Cebu for a vacation.

He was kept captive in an apartment in Lapu-Lapu City and was released two days later after paying $7,000 in ransom.

The victim has returned to Korea. The suspects remained at large.

Based on the CIDG report, Kwon met one of the suspects through the Internet while he was trying to book online his ticket to Cebu from Korea.

The suspect, who was not identified in the report, told Kwon that he, too, had the same flight schedule to Cebu and offered to travel with Kwon.

“They became friends and exchanged phone numbers,” the report said. The two decided to meet in Cebu.

Kwon arrived here at 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 21 and proceeded to his hotel.

“Just an hour after he checked in the hotel, the Korean he met in the Internet called and inquired about his whereabouts. He was told to wait at the hotel and was invited for beer at the Mango Square along General Maxilom, Cebu City,” the report said.

The report said after drinking, the suspect told Kwon to proceed to a Korean bar. They boarded a Hyundai Starex van driven by another Korean.

After driving a few meters, the van stopped and two Koreans boarded the vehicle. The suspects blindfolded Kwon and beat him up.

He was brought to an apartment in Lapu-Lapu City. The suspects initially demanded $40,000 in ransom but reduced it to $7,000. The money was sent to Cebu through a bank.

The victim was released on Aug. 23 after the suspects received the ransom.

Kwon told his friend in Korea about what happened to him. His friend then narrated what happened to some of his Korean friends in Cebu who reported the crime to the police.

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