South Korean voice phishing suspect arrested in Angeles

By Ferdinand Patinio

December 26, 2022, 1:38 pm

MANILA -- The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday reported the arrest of a South Korean fugitive wanted by authorities in Seoul for supposedly engaging in telecommunications fraud.

Commissioner Norman Tansingco identified the foreigner as Byun Jonghyun, 40, who was arrested by operatives from the BI’s fugitive search unit (FSU) in Barangay Balibago, Angeles City on Dec. 18.

The Korean will be deported immediately as an order for his summary deportation was issued by the BI board of commissioners last September.

He was placed on the immigration blacklist and banned from re-entering the Philippines for being an undesirable alien, Tansingco said.

BI-FSU acting chief Rendell Ryan Sy said Byun is also the subject of an Interpol red notice issued in April 2020.

The notice stemmed from an arrest warrant issued against the Korean by the Seoul central district court where he was charged with violating his country’s telecommunications business act.

Korean authorities alleged that Byun is a member of an organized crime syndicate based in Manila that defrauds their compatriots back home by engaging in voice phishing operations.

It is estimated that the syndicate’s earnings from the racket, amounting to more than 674 million won or roughly USD500,000.

He is now detained at the BI detention facility at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City while awaiting his deportation to Korea. (PNA)