2 Koreans accused of carnapping freed
MANILA, Philippines — Two Koreans charged with carnapping for allegedly stealing cars from Filipinos through a rent-a-car scheme were ordered released by the city prosecutor office on Tuesday.
Manila policemen were aiming to file four different carnapping cases against Jun Myong-hoon, also known as Jun Lee, and Jae Woung Lee, also known as Tony Lee. But only one complaint was filed since only one of the four stolen vehicles, an Isuzu Crosswind (XPS-412), had so far been recovered. The complainant, taxi driver Romeo de Veyra, alleged that Tony Lee earlier befriended him and asked him to look for a vehicle that he could borrow.
Prosecutor Wilbur Arimboyutan, however, referred the complaint back to the police for further investigation.
Sources in the MPD’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit said the two suspects were earlier arrested for different cases—Jae (Tony Lee) for failure to settle hotel bills in Binondo, and Jun Lee for robbery-extortion.
During the investigation, however, police discovered that both men were members of a group that had been stealing cars from friends or rent-a-car companies. The scheme worked like this: One Korean would befriend a target victim to gain the latter’s trust so he could borrow a car, which would eventually be stolen. And then, another member of the group, a negotiator, would call the owner of the car and ask for money in exchange for the vehicle’s return.
Tony allegedly rented a Toyota Innova, which has not been recovered. He was arrested on a complaint from the Innova’s owner, Ian Guy Mendoza, who also tagged Tony Lee as the one who took the vehicle.
The complaint stated that Jun Lee called Mendoza, using the name Lee Do Young, and introduced himself as Tony Lee’s friend. Lee and a certain Kim Kyuhong allegedly asked for P30,000 but refused to disclose Mendoza’s vehicle’s location. SFM
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