MANILA -- The Bureau of Immigration (BI) nabbed a total of 232 foreign fugitives last year.

According to BI Commissioner Jaime Morente, the apprehended foreign nationals hid in the country to evade prosecution and sentence for crimes they committed in their homelands.

Of the number, 178 were arrested on the strength of mission orders issued by the BI chief while 41 were subjects of deportation warrants issued on orders of the BI board of commissioners. The rest were either turned over, have surrendered or were intercepted at the airports.

Chinese nationals totaling 131 topped the list, followed by 61 Koreans, 36 Taiwanese, and 11 Americans.

The aliens were arrested in various operations conducted by operatives of the BI fugitive search unit (FSU) headed by BI intelligence officer Bobby Raquepo in various places throughout the country.

Morente noted that all of the captured fugitives were already deported to their homelands where they are now being tried or serving their jail sentences.

“They were also placed in our blacklist of undesirable aliens to make sure that they do not return to the Philippines and pose a risk to our public safety and security,” the BI chief said in a statement.

On the other hand, Raquepo reported that among the captured fugitives were classified as “high value targets” due to the nature and gravity of their crimes, include Hussein Aldhafiri, a Kuwaiti bomb maker and suspected ISIS member, whose arrest in Taguig City last March foiled his plot to attack a mosque and a military base in his country.

He was arrested in the company of a Syrian woman named Rahaf Zina, alleged widow of the late Abu Jandal, former ISIS leader in Iraq.

The BI official also cited the arrest of American Yoshikoson Umeko Haddon, who was wanted in Virginia for capital murder, killing for hire and solicitation of adult. (PNA)