By Jun Ramirez
Immigration officers at the international airport in Cebu have arrested a South Korean wanted by authorities in Seoul for trading illegal drugs.
Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the fugitive as 30-year-old Oh Joohwan, who was apprehended last Nov. 17 upon his arrival at the Mactan airport aboard an Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Morente said Oh was sent back to his country last Nov. 22 when he was flown to Seoul while escorted by anti-drug investigators from Korea’s Ministry of Justice.
He added that the Korean was immediately excluded upon his arrival after the BI database at the airport showed that he is wanted in Korea for violating his country’s control of narcotics act.
BI port operations division chief Marc Red Mariñas disclosed it was only last Oct. 31 that 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,” Mariñas said.
The police attaché of the Korean consultate in Cebu had earlier warned BI-Mactan airport officials led by immigration head supervisor Nelson Gallentes and travel control and enforcement chief Ricardo Buhay 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 to sell a prohibited drug called philopon to interested buyers.
During this period the suspects allegedly sold undetermined pieces of the philopon drug to several buyers from which they earned more than 207.2 million Korean won.
Philopon has been tagged as largely responsible for the rise of the juvenile crime incidence in Japan.
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