MANILA — The Bureau of Immigration (BI) has deported a 30-year-old South Korean wanted by authorities in Seoul for trading illegal drugs.
In a statement Wednesday, BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said Oh Joohwan has been sent back to his country on Nov. 22 and was escorted by prosecutors and anti-drug investigators from South Korea’s Ministry of Justice.
The fugitive was apprehended last Nov. 17 after arriving at the Mactan airport in Cebu on board an Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The South Korean was immediately excluded upon his arrival after the BI database at the airport showed that he is wanted in South Korea for violating his country’s control of narcotics act.
On the other hand, BI port operations division chief Marc Red Mariñas noted that last Oct. 31, the Interpol issued a red notice alerting Philippine authorities about his criminal record and on the possibility that he might enter the country.
“We were supposed to book him on the first available return flight to Korea after he was intercepted but officials from the Korean embassy requested that his departure be deferred, pending the arrival of his escorts,” he said.
The police attaché of the Korean consulate in Cebu had earlier warned BI-Mactan airport officials that Oh might harm his co-passengers if he were allowed to board his flight alone, considering that he is a fugitive wanted for selling psychotropic drugs.
Korean authorities alleged that sometime between June and August this year, Oh and his accomplice posted an Internet advertisement to sell a prohibited drug called philopon.
During this period, the suspects allegedly sold undetermined amounts of the drug to several buyers more than 314 times and earned a profit amounting to more than 207.2 million Korean won (about PHP9.7 million).
Philopon has been tagged as largely responsible for the rise of the juvenile crime rate in Japan, where more than one-and-a-half million people, many less than 20 years old, are reportedly addicted to the drug. (PNA)