By Aaron B. Recuenco
A South Korean who got broke after deciding to leave his job as a tour guide in the Philippines to live with his Filipino girlfriend pretended to have been kidnapped to force his parents to send him money.
Col. Jonnel Estomo, director of the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG), said they learned of Yoo Jin Won’s modus when they conducted a social media search of the last photo that the victim posted on his account.
“This started when the Korean Embassy sought for our help on the alleged kidnapping of a Korean,” said Estomo.
The information, he said, was relayed by the parents of the 38-year old Yoo who told Embassy officials that a $5,000 ransom was being asked from them.
Yoo has been working as a tour guide for South Korean tourists. He last reported for work on September 24.
AKG operatives then conducted intelligence-gathering and investigation, starting with a photo of Yoo with his Filipino girlfriend.
The girlfriend was traced to be a resident of Numancia, Aklan.
During the surveillance, it was found out that Yoo has been staying with his girlfriend in Barangay Camanci Norte in Numancia town.
AKG operatives then went to the area on Friday and invited Yoo for investigation.
“When debriefed, Yoo confessed that he was just joking to his mother in Korea on his kidnapping here in the Philippines because he is in dire need of money,” said Estomo.
Lt. Col. Elmer Cereno, AKG spokesman, said they are now preparing charges against Yoo for orchestrating a kidnap-me modus.
“This should serve as a lesson that you cannot fool the AKG. We have ways of ferreting out the truth and Yoo’s case is not the first,” said Cereno.
A few months ago, a Filipina in La Union claimed to have been kidnapped and demanded P5 million from his American partner. It was found out that she made it up to cover the missing P5 million from their bank account.