High-roller abduction: DOJ drops case against 30 of 44 foreigners
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed the case filed against 30 of the 44 foreigners arrested for allegedly abducting foreign high-roller casino players in the country.
In a nine-page resolution, investigating Assistant State Prosecutor Philip dela Cruz dismissed the kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention case filed against the 30 foreigners for lack of evidence.
The 44 foreigners, mostly Chinese nationals, were arrested last July 18 by a joint team composed of members of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Anti-Kidnapping Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP-AKG). The operation led to the rescue of Singaporean Wu Yan, who was allegedly kidnapped by the respondents from the Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City.
In dismissing the complaint, the DOJ said the Wu did not identify any of the 30 respondents as part of the group that kidnapped her.
“Not an iota of evidence was presented to show that they conspired with the alleged kidnappers of complainant Wu Yan,” the DOJ said. “Not even a single act can be imputed against them. Since criminal liability is personal then absence of proof as to their participation to the alleged kidnapping indubitably will result to the dismissal of the complaint against said respondents.”
Cleared were Li Jia Long, Pan Wei Jun, Chen Chao Yi, Chen Guo Xiong, Wang Min, Meng Hao, Pao Xi, Huan Dong Chuan, Yan Xiao Tao, Lin Bing Wen, Kang Cai Chun, Xie Qing Yun, Lin Zhi Tian, Li Lian Den, Qing Chi, Zhu Chong Guang, Lin Feng Bin, Liu Pang, Zhang Fu Xing, Li Yun, Zeng Wei, Wang Fei, Zhang Cheng Jian, Lin Chao, Zou Guan Bao, Rong Yi Wang, Li Hong Bing, Yuan Dan, Huan Tian Peng, and Lin Yun Long.
The DOJ ordered their release from detention at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City. But they will be deported back to China.
On the other hand, the 14 other arrested foreigners remain in detention after they opted to answer the allegations against them during the preliminary investigation.
The 14 foreigners are Ng Yu Meng, Goh Kok Keong, Chen Jing Wang, Chen Cheng Feng, Deng KOng Zhi, Ou Min, Chen Jia Yang, Cai Si Yang, Cheng Zai Zheng, Zheng Wei Xiong, Wu Shi Zhu, Huang Lifang, Li Xiang Hu, and Ou Fang. They appeared before the DOJ last Monday and submitted their counter-affidavits.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration has already started deportation proceedings for all the respondents for being undesirable aliens and for violating the conditions of their stay as tourists.
But under the law, the detained foreigners would be deported only after the criminal proceedings against them had been completed. If found guilty, they would also have to serve their sentences. /atm
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