BI agents nab Korean drug smuggler in Cebu City

BUREAU of Immigration (BI) operatives arrested on Tuesday, a South Korean wanted by authorities in his country for being an alleged member of a big-time drug syndicate that smuggles illegal drugs into Korea from the Philippines.

Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said 56-year-old Choi Sun Hyeok was arrested at his residence in Bgy. Lahug, Cebu City by elements from the BI’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU).

Tansingco said the FSU operatives were armed with a warrant of deportation, which he issued pursuant to a summary deportation order that the BI Board of Commissioners issued against the fugitive in 2017.

“He will thus be immediately deported to Seoul after we have secured the necessary clearances for his departure,” the BI Chief added.

He described Choi as a high profile fugitive as he is believed to be a member of the so-called MS Alliance syndicate that facilitates the illicit transport of narcotics to Korea.

A red notice for his capture was issued by the Interpol this year after investigation confirmed his presence in the country. 

According to the Interpol’s National Central Bureau (NCB) in Manila, Choi is subject of an arrest warrant issued by the Changwon District Court in Korea where he is charged with violating his country’s Narcotics Control Act.

Investigators have established that this year alone, Choi’s accomplices in the syndicate managed to smuggle into Korea more than 265 grams of methamphetamine by concealing the drug in their underwear.

It was gathered that the passport of Choi, who will be committed to the BI Warden Facility in Taguig City, was already revoked by the Korean government, thus making him an undocumented alien.

His name was also placed in the BI blacklist to prevent him from re-entering the Philippines.