Tag Archive: Chinese nationals

Two Chinese nationals and a Filipina were arrested after being caught with P25 million worth of suspected shabu in Makati City late Wednesday night, police said.

Arrested were He Kaibei, 28, and Henry Lam, 43, both of Fujian, China; and Annaliza Villegas, 45, said Dir. Joel Pagdilao, chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

Elements of the NCRPO Regional Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group arrested the three in a buy-bust operation at the parking lot of a restaurant at Magallanes Ave. cor. Humabon st., Magallanes Village, 11:15 p.m., Pagdilao said.

Operatives confiscated about 5 kilos of suspected shabu, a Nissan Cefiro sedan (XAY-567), and recovered the P10 million “buy bust money” from the suspects, he said.

Charges of violating Republic Act 9165 are being prepared against the suspects, Pagdilao said. (John Roson)

– end –

Foreign poachers are still conducting activities in the Philippines’ northern seas and are now even going closer to the islands of Batanes, officials said Saturday.

“Many of these are Taiwanese fishing boats. Actually they even get near the islands, particularly Itbayat,” Milagros Morales, assistant director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-2 (BFAR-2), said by phone.

“Hindi naman kasing dami as in the past, but they are still there, still visible,” she added.

Morales made the remarks when asked on the status of poaching activities in the Balintang Channel, which borders the Philippines and Taiwan.

Aside from Taiwanese, local fishermen are also reporting sightings of Vietnamese and Chinese poachers, Batanes provincial fisheries officer Angel Encarnacion said in a separate phone interview.

“We don’t know how many there are, but poachers are still coming in even after we arrested one last year,” Encarnacion said, referring to the arrest of Taiwanese Tsai Po off Itbayat on September 3, 2013.

Boats that usually go near the islands are those that catch fish and other marine animals, which are later unloaded to a “mother” vessel lurking far away, he said.

“Local fishermen are reporting the sightings and some have even expressed willingness to go after the poachers, but we remind them not to because we have diplomatic arrangements with Taiwan,” Encarnacion added.

Presently, only one BFAR vessel – manned by Coast Guard members – is patrolling the country’s northern seas.

“Poachers would usually keep out of sight when the vessel patrols and then come back when it’s away,” Morales said.

She said patrols by the BFAR and Coast Guard are still continuing despite “constraining” effects of another incident, where eight Coast Guard personnel were charged homicide after shooting a Taiwanese poacher who intruded Philippine waters on May 9, 2013.

“Dahil sa kaso natin last year, parang helpless tayo, hindi tayo masyadong makagalaw… We have to do it (patrols) because if we will just leave them (poachers) to it, parang nakakasakit naman sa loob na nandiyan lang sila at wala tayong magawa,” she said.

Also because of continuous poaching, the BFAR ordered the construction of a customized boat that would help its vessel conduct patrols, Encarnacion said.

The boat, worth about P1 million, is being fashioned after Taiwanese fishing boats to withstand rough sea conditions in the Balintang Channel and is expected to be launched in June, he said.

The provincial fisheries office also gave a local fishermen’s association another boat, binoculars, navigational equipment, and communication devices so they can help monitor poachers, Encarnacion said.

“We are doing this while waiting for the multi-mission vessels that the national [BFAR] office will send to Batanes,” Encarnacion said.

BFAR director Asis Perez announced earlier this year that the bureau will acquire more than 40 units of 30-footer and 40-footer multi-mission vessels to strengthen visibility and patrols in different parts of the country. (John Roson)

– end –

Authorities are investigating the Chinese vessel found near Malapascua Island, Cebu, for possible illegal activities, including quarrying sand and pebbles, officials said Saturday.

Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo, Coast Guard spokesman, said there have been reports that the M/V Ming Yuan had been used to carry sand and pebbles from areas surrounding Malapascua.

“We are pursuing reports that the vessel is utilized in transporting white sand and pebbles from nearby islands,” Balilo said in a text message.

A team is now monitoring Malapascua and nearby areas “for possible illegal extraction or siphoning of white sand,” Dr. Eddie Llamedo, information officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Central Visayas, said when sought for more details.

The team comprises personnel of the DENR-Central Visayas, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Coast Guard, police, and the local government of Daanbantayan town, which has jurisdiction of Malapascua, he said.

Llamedo said the reports of quarrying came about after a Chinese vessel was seen, allegedly “siphoning” white sand, off Malapascua earlier this month.

A Chinese vessel was inspected on June 15, but authorities did not find white sand on it, he said.

Llamedo could not say if the inspected vessel was also the M/V Ming Yuan.

Meanwhile, Balilo said immigration officials have confiscated the passports of the crew members of M/V Ming Yuan, though the crew members were allowed to remain on the vessel.

While the probe is going on, the ship was also ordered to stay away from Malapascua, which is popular among tourists for its white sand beaches.

“Since the vessel was anchored on a passenger vessel route and posing as hazard to navigation, the vessel was directed to anchor in Northern Cebu while government agencies are investigating possible illegal activities of the shipping company,” Balilo said.

Llamedo said Malapascua is not listed among the country’s “protected areas,” but should be protected just the same because it is public property.

“Because of its being a small island or islet that is less than 250 hectares, it is considered as public land, meaning it is owned by the state or government,” he said. (John Roson)

– end –

A Chinese fishing vessel ran aground at the Tubbataha Reef on Monday night, just days after a US Navy ship was removed from the protected marine biodiversity area, authorities said Tuesday.

The fishing boat ran aground at the southern portion of the reef’s North Islet around 11:45 p.m., Navy spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo said, citing a report from Tubbataha Reef park superintendent Angelique Songco.

The boat, which bears the number 63168, has 12 crew members on board, Arevalo said.

Lt. Cmdr. Armand Balilo, Coast Guard spokesman, said one of their search and rescue vessels was sent to the scene to help park rangers investigate.

The BRP Romblon (SARV 3503) arrived at the site around 10:55 a.m. Tuesday and confirmed the grounding of the 20-meter long boat, he said.

“Ang plano is kapag nag-refloat yung fishing boat due to high tide, eescortan ito dun sa Puerto Princesa City then dadalhin ‘yung crew sa National Committee on Illegal Entrants. Kung poachers sila, kakasuhan,” Balilo said in a phone interview.

Should the fishing boat fail to refloat, its crew members will be taken to Puerto Princesa on board the BRP Romblon, he said.

The grounding occurred just 10 days after authorities finished removing the USS Guardian’s wreckage at the reef’s South Atoll on March 30.

The Guardian, which ran aground on Jan. 17 after making a port call in Subic Bay, Zambales, damaged 2,345.67 square meters of coral, according to the Tubbataha Management Office (TMO).

The US government will be fined $1.5 million, or P58.4 million, for the Guardian’s grounding, the TMO said. (John Roson)

– end –

Authorities seized 123 endangered sea turtles or pawikan from allegedly Chinese-backed poachers in Balabac, Palawan, the Navy said Friday.

The turtles – six of which were already dead – were found inside three cages made of mangrove branches that were submerged at the shore of Sitio Dunglog, Brgy. Caguisan, Navy spokesman Col. Omar Tonsay said.

The cages were hidden among mangrove trees and the area had four nipa huts believed to serve as observation posts against authorities, he said

Members of the Naval Forces West and the local government carried out the operation around 10 a.m. Tuesday, after receiving reports that poachers were “collecting sea turtles for eventual sale to allegedly Chinese-financed buyers,” Tonsay said in a statement.

Six unidentified persons, believed to be poachers, fled the site on two boats when they saw the operatives approaching their location, he said.

The 117 live turtles, most of which weigh 50 to 60 kilograms, were released on Thursday at Roughton Island, a designated sanctuary for maritime species, Tonsay said.

The dead turtles were buried at a beach near the area were the live ones were freed, he said. (John Roson)

– end –

Seventy-eight Chinese and Taiwan nationals were arrested as authorities swooped down on an alleged international financial fraud syndicate in Davao City Wednesday afternoon, a police official said.

The foreigners, comprised of 47 males and 31 females, were arrested when members of of the Davao City Police, 11th Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit, and six policemen from the Taiwan Criminal Investigation Bureau conducted simultaneous raids on three “safehouses” 3:30 p.m., city police director Senior Supt. Ronald dela Rosa said.

The safehouses were located in Valgozon Compound, Velazco Subd., Brgy. Bangkal; Ilang-ilang corner Santan sts., Villa Josefina Village, Brgy. Matina; and Dahlia Circle-loops sts., Ladislawa Village, Brgy. Buhangin.

Confiscated from the sites were a number of electronic devices set up like “call centers,” Dela Rosa said.

Agents of the call centers scare people, mostly elderly folk in China and Taiwan, by telling them they have multiple bank accounts which the government suspects of being used in money laundering, according to the police official.

“Tinatakot nila ‘yung victims na io-operate ng ‘police,’ then ia-advise na i-transfer lahat ng laman ng kahit nag-iisang bank account nila sa account nitong grupo para hindi ma-confiscate ng government nila. Yuan was used in most of the transactions but if you translate them to US dollars, this syndicate has already collected millions,” Dela Rosa said.

The raids were implemented through three search warrants for violation of Republic Act 8484 (Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998) and Article 315 (Estafa) of the Revised Penal Code, he said.

Two of the warrants were issued by Davao City Regional Trial Court Branch 5 Judge Isaac Robillo Jr. and the other, by Branch 15 Judge Ridgway Tanjili, Dela Rosa said. (John Roson)

– end –

A former police official, dismissed from the force just two years ago, was arrested with his cohort after the foreigners they tried to holdup beat them up in Bagabag, Nueva Vizcaya, on Monday.

Senior Superintendent Valfrie Tabian, Nueva Vizcaya provincial police director, identified the suspects as former Chief Inspector Freddie Cacliong and Ivan Dumageng.

The two were arrested after they tried to pull a heist on foreigners involved in the mining business, at a junction along the National Highway in Brgy. Tuao North around 6:30 a.m.

According to Tabian, Chinese nationals Pan Ling Ming, Shu Teng, Filipino-Japanese Enrique Yamamoto, and Filipino-Chinese driver Robert Go were waiting for a tour guide who will bring them to Ifugao, when the motorcycle-riding hold up men arrived.

“They (foreigners) were outside their car so they were able to fight when the heist was declared, they ganged up on the suspects,” Tabian said in a phone interview.

“One of the muggers was wearing a helmet and cannot see his backside well, so he got struck in the head. Maybe he didn’t want to remove the helmet because he’s a former policeman,” Tabian said.

As the scuffle continued, Cacliong drew a gun and shot the leg of one of the Chinese nationals, whose companions quickly came to the rescue and snatched the firearm.

Members of the Bagabag Police eventually arrived and collared Cacliong and Dumageng. The Chinese national who got shot was brought to a hospital, but was allowed to leave after first aid as his leg was only grazed.

It was learned that Cacliong, a native of Ifugao, once served as the chief of police in a town in Isabela, and was dismissed in 2010 because of various cases.

“He (Cacliong) had many cases. When I was still the summary hearing officer of Region 2, he had several administrative and sexual harassment cases, where one of the victims was a fellow police personnel. When he was kicked out of the service, a murder charge also sprang up, he’s a real scalawag,” Tabian said.

Cacliong and Dumageng have already been charged with attempted robbery and frustrated homicide. Police are still verifying if the duo had also been involved in other incidents of robbery. (John Roson)

– end –

Armed men held up a Chinese official of a mining company in Barobo, Surigao del Sur, taking his car, more than P1.5 million cash, and other valuables, police reported.

The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. Monday, but the victim, Wen Tsen-Nan, was only able to report the incident to authorities Tuesday morning after being dropped off by the suspects in Bayugan City, Caraga regional police spokesman Supt. Martin Gamba said.

Wen, general manager of Triple Win Mining Company, told police that he was driving his Toyota Hilux (KDZ-735) from Rosario to Barobo when five men armed with caliber-.45 pistols flagged him down at Sitio Agsur, Brgy. Bahi.

The armed men allegedly pointed their guns at Wen, told him to drive towards Lianga, Surigao del Sur, reroute to a mountainous area of Bayugan City, and took several of his belongings along the way, Gamba said.

Wen said he lost P1.5 million cash, 40,000 Chinese Yuan, 500 Hong Kong dollars, an undetermined amount of Taiwan dollars, a check book, ATM card, a 200 gram gold necklace, a gold watch worth P500,000, a cellphone, and passports to the robbers.

The foreigner told police that the suspects released him in front of a church in Bayugan around 2 a.m. Tuesday then sped away with his vehicle. (John Roson)

– end –

Authorities detained 12 Chinese nationals who allegedly figured in a ruckus with companions of President Benigno Aquino III’s sister, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, during a flight to Cebu on Saturday, police said.

The twelve were placed under the custody of the 7th Police Center for Aviation Security (PCAS-7) at the Mactan Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City, according to National Police spokesman Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz.

Two of the Chinese nationals – Han Yan, 31, and Mailiyasi, 33, – allegedly became unruly during the “fun game” of Cebu Pacific Flight 5J-563 from Manila.

The two eventually figured in an “altercation” with companions of Aquino-Cruz and were arrested upon arrival by PCAS-7 members, Cruz said, citing field reports.

Pete Prado, who served as a DOTC secretary during the late President Corazon Aquino’s time and is now her daughter’s chief of staff, also instructed the PCAS-7 personnel to hold the Chinese nationals’ group and file charges against them, Cruz said. (John Roson)

– end –