The Bureau of Immigration on Thursday, January 17 said that Chinese nationals topped the list of foreigners who were arrested in the country for being fugitives from justice.
According to the BI, its search unit arrested a total of 257 foreign criminals evading either their prosecution or jail sentence in their home countries in 2018. This recorded number of fugitives is higher than the 232 foreign criminals arrested in 2017.
Records showed that of the 257 arrested, 116 were Chinese, 80 Taiwanese, 27 Koreans, 16 Thais, eight Americans, five Britons, one Swedish, one Japanese, one Dutch, one Norwegian, and one German.
Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said most of the illegal aliens have been deported and blacklisted.
“These arrests were all conducted through the request and assistance of their respective countries through their embassy or police,” he said in a statement.
He added, “Upon informing us that an alien in the country is wanted for a crime, we immediately take steps to apprehend the fugitive to ensure that justice will be served.”
Some of the offenses committed by the arrested fugitives were economic crimes, cyber fraud, sexual offenses, kidnapping, robbery extortion, gun possession, drug distribution, and smuggling.
Among the major operations conducted by BI’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) was the raid on a call center in Parañaque City last June 14. Sixteen Thai nationals and three Taiwanese nationals were arrested.
The FSU also arrested seven Chinese wanted for cyber fraud by Beijing authorities in July, and five Chinese suspected of being members of a kidnapping syndicate that preys on Chinese tourists in the country last November.
Several high-profile criminals like Japan’s top fugitive Misao Kaminsukaso, who was wanted for fraud in Japan; American priest Fr. Kenneth Bernard Hendricks, who was wanted for alleged child abuse; and Taiwanese Oren Shlomo Mayer who was wanted for the murder of a Canadian teacher were also arrested by the BI FSU.
The unit’s most recent success was the arrest of Xie Haojie, a former Chinese government official national wanted in China for corruption and involvement in large-scale economic crimes, on Sunday, January 13.