Monday, March 10, 2008

Korean mafia thriving in RP

By: Renato Gomba Quilicol - Journal Online

THE Philippines has now become a “haven” of the leaders and members of the “Kuan Jupang,” also known as the Korean mafia.

This was revealed by legitimate Korean businessmen in Metro Manila who has become victims to the dreaded group, which seems untouchable to local police authorities.

The victims requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, adding that the number of “Kuan Jupang” members in the Philippines has grown bigger and could have already outnumbered their foreign counterparts, including the triad and bamboo gangs of China and the Yakuza of Japan.

The businessmen talked about their horrifying ordeal from the day they first encountered the members of the group.

They recounted how they were harassed and intimidated by the group, who demanded monthly “protection money” amounting to millions of pesos.

They were also threatened with physical harm or death should they fail to comply with the criminals’ demands.

A Seoul businesswoman admitted giving the syndicate P2 million in exchange for the safety of her family, knowing the fact that the Korean mafia uses local assassins in dealing with those who say “no.”

“That is why many of us were forced to hire local bodyguards because we knew they could kill us anytime they want in case we did not give them money,” another businessman said.

It was learned most members of this Korean crime ring are either undesirable aliens or wanted criminals in their country.

How they were able to enter the country using spurious travel documents remains a big question mark.

“It is interesting to know why these criminals managed to slip into despite being included in the Bureau of Immigration’s blacklist,” the Korean businessmen said.

Apparently the Korean mafia has already established vast connections among key government agencies such as the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Immigration and the Philippine National Police, being unhampered in extortion and money-laundering activities, they claimed.

They also believed the mafia is responsible for kidnappings and murders of Koreans in the Philippines, many of which were not reported to police authorities.

A particular incident took place in Porac, Pampanga, in December last year, where a Korean couple operating a language school was shot dead by masked men in front of their terrified children.

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