MANILA, Philippines - Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. recently ordered agents to launch a manhunt for a South Korean who was arrested but reportedly escaped from his two jail guards on Christmas Eve while he was confined at a private hospital in Taguig City.
David said 54-year-old Kim Taedong escaped from the St. Luke’s Medical Center.
Kim had been confined at the hospital since Aug. 26 after he complained of hypertension, diabetes and abdominal pain.
Agents of the BI Fugitive Search Unit arrested the Korean last July 5 in Pasig City on the strength of a mission order that David issued at the request of the Korean embassy.
Kim allegedly tried to bribe the arresting agents but they turned down his offer.
The Korean embassy said Kim, along with nine other suspects, is reportedly wanted for cheating in a baccarat game on three instances at a casino in Seoul, South Korea in 2010.
The Dongbu District Court in Seoul reportedly issued a warrant of arrest against the suspects but Kim eluded arrest by fleeing to Manila last April 8.
BI Intelligence Division acting chief Ma. Antonette Bucasas-Mangrobang also sought the public’s assistance in locating the whereabouts of the foreign fugitive.
To intensify the manhunt operations, the BI had coordinated with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and National Capital Region Police Office of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The BI is also conducting a probe to determine if criminal and administrative charges should be filed against two BI escorts, who were guarding Kim at the time of his escape.
Mangrobang added that the jail guards, both from the BI Detention Facility in Bicutan have been placed under preventive suspension.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo ordered the CIDG to assist in the investigation of the escape of the Korean detainee. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe, Rudy Santos - By Evelyn Macairan