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(LEAD) S. Korean man abducted for ransom last year murdered by Philippine policemen

All News 13:37 January 17, 2017

(ATTN: RECASTS headline; UPDATES throughout with more info)

SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean man who was kidnapped for ransom in the Philippines last year was recently found to have been killed by three local police officers and a former policeman, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

The law enforcement officers and ex-policeman were behind the abduction of the 50-something businessman, surnamed Ji, on Oct. 18 in Angeles City, a ministry official said, quoting probe results conducted by Filipino authorities and provided to Seoul on Monday.

According to the local investigation, Ji was strangled to death on the same day of his abduction although the local police have not been able to check the victim's body, which may have been cremated at a crematorium operated by the former police officer.

The suspects took him in a vehicle owned by the wife of one of the officers under the pretext of a drug-related investigation, the ministry official said. They used a forged arrest warrant to kidnap Ji, he said.

Four more people, including Ji's housekeeper, were also believed to be implicated in the abduction, according to the ministry official.

About two weeks after the abduction, Ji's family gave 5 million Philippine pesos (US$100,000) as ransom after getting a phone call from the kidnappers. They also withdrew cash from Ji's credit cards.

Active in the labor export business in the Philippines, Ji had been acquainted with the suspects.

Later in the day, South Korea's Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Jae-shin plans to meet with Philippine Foreign Minister Perfecto Yasay to lodge a formal complaint and call for a thorough investigation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs here also plans to call in the Philippine Ambassador to South Korea to deliver similar messages.

A telephone conversation is also reportedly scheduled between Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Yasay over the issue later in the day.

"South Korea is now urging the Philippine government for a thorough investigation into the case," another ministry official said, also indicating that Seoul may take action to demand the Philippine government provide compensation for the crime committed by government employees.


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