By Martin Sadongdong
A Japanese tourist was safely rescued by the police after being held captive by three suspected kidnappers, including a Japanese fugitive, in Plaridel, Bulacan.
No less than Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa announced on Tuesday the safe rescue of Yuji Nakajima, 32, of Tokyo, Japan.
Dela Rosa also presented before the media the three arrested suspects identified as Miyashita Takashi, a native of Koiwa Edogawa, Tokyo, Japan.
According to dela Rosa, Nakajima was rescued by elements of the PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG), in coordination with the Japanese police and embassy, on April 5. The foreigner was abducted by the suspects on March 22.
Dela Rosa said the Japanese police and embassy contacted the PNP-AKG about 2 p.m. of March 22 as they sought for help to locate the victim and arrest his captors.
A rescue operation was immediately conducted and the Japanese tourist was saved around 3 p.m. in the house owned by the cousin of the Reyes brothers, Verhel Lumague, dela Rosa said.
The PNP chief added that Lumague coordinated with the police when he sensed something amiss with the Japanese man’s stay in his house.
“Apparently, the suspects requested their cousin to let the victim stay in his house, they said he was a VIP guest. But [the cousin] sensed something unusual because the Japanese man was guarded by suspicious men,” he said.
PNP-AKG Director Glenn Dumlao said Nakajima arrived in the Philippines on March 22 together with his friend and business partner, Yusoke Obara.
According to Dumlao, Nakajima and Obara stayed in a hotel in an undisclosed location and it seemed Obara was the one who baited Nakajima to the suspects as the two had a business conflict.
“We found out na parang isinubo ang victim kasi business partners sila and allegedly may rift between them (We found out they are business partners, and it looked like that the victim was allowed to be kidnapped [by the suspect] because allegedly, they have a rift),” he said.
The suspects apparently contacted the family of the victim in Tokyo, Japan where they demanded an undisclosed ransom which resulted to the coordination between the Japan police and embassy, and the PNP-AKG.
“The transaction was between the abductors and the victim’s family in Japan and they didn’t want to reveal further information about it,” Dumlao said.
Organized crime group?
Dumlao said they were looking at the possibility that the suspects were part of a bigger, and much-more organized syndicate group operating in the Philippines.
“This style is no longer new. What’s difficult to handle is when we neutralize a crime group, a new one emerges,” he said.
Dumlao said Obara is now being hunted by the Japanese police.