Suspect in smuggled shabu from China tried to leave Philippines, DOJ chief says
One of the suspects in the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs from China has attempted to leave the country at least twice, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Thursday.
In a press briefing in Malacanang, Aguirre said Chinese businessman Richard Chen or Richard Tan was prevented from fleeing due to the lookout bulletin against him.
"He (Chen) has no impediment in leaving the country. But the only thing that is preventing him from leaving the country without any hitch is the ILBO (Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order), which we have issued," Aguirre said.
He said Chen last attempted to leave the country via an airport in a province last week.
A Bureau of Immigration staffer, now absent without official leave, tried to help Chen leave the country, Aguirre said, adding that the suspect also tried to bribe immigration officers.
"He wasn’t successful, because our senior supervision officers rejected the bribe being offered," Aguirre said.
Aguirre said they did not know if Chen would persist to leave the country through other means or with the help of some people.
"There's no information from the Bureau of Immigration that he left the country already. That's why the presumption is still he is here," he said.
The Valenzuela City Regional Trial Court earlier dismissed the criminal complaint against Tan and the other respondents over the smuggling case for "lack of jurisdiction."
But state prosecutors have filed a motion for reconsideration. Celerina Monte/DMS