By: Jennifer P. Rendon
CASH-STRAPPED, a Korean national staged his own kidnapping in Aklan province.
Yoo Jin-Woon, 38, a native of Jinju City in South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea, allegedly sent a photograph to his mother showing he was being held captive.
The picture showed Yoo kneeling with his hands tied behind his back.
The victim-turned-suspect claimed that his “abductors” were demanding US$5,000 for his release.
The threatening photo prompted Yoo’s mother to ask help from authorities in South Korea who coordinated with the South Korean Embassy in Manila, which in turn sought the help of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Task Group.
Police Major Nestor Acebuche, chief of the PNP Regional Anti-Kidnapping Task Group-Visayas field unit, said they moved to “rescue” the Korean national based on the information given by their national office indicating that the subject was in Barangay Camanci Norte in Numancia, Aklan.
“But following our research, investigation, and intelligence gathering, we found out that he was staying with his girlfriend in Numancia town,” Acebuche said.
Authorities initially thought that Yoo’s girlfriend, 32-year-old Florefe Mae Bolido, might be involved in the alleged kidnapping.
But when the anti-kidnapping police operatives and Numancia PNP swooped on the house where Yoo was being “kept” at around 6:45 a.m. of Sept. 28, 2019, nobody appeared to have harmed Yoo nor was he restrained by his so-called kidnappers.
Acebuche said it did not take long for Yoo to confess that the kidnapping was a sham.
“It’s a case of ‘kidnap me’ modus operandi. He said he was just joking. It was a false story,” he said.
When police asked Yoo what drove him to stage his own kidnapping, the Korean claimed that he was in dire need of money.
The suspect allegedly ran out of money after he lost his job as a tour guide in Clark, Pampanga.
While claiming he was sorry, police said they might file a case against the suspect for unjust vexation.
“We could have used our time and resources for cases that needed our attention,” Acebuche said.