Another Korean fugitive was caught in the Philippines, but this time, it seems like he is going to get away with his crime. His name is Ja Hoon Ku. In his home country, he is wanted for embezzling nearly $200 million worth of reserve funds from a Korean company. In the Philippines, he remains a free man despite the Korean embassy’s request to summarily arrest and deport him to Korea.
On January 16, Ja was arrested and detained at the Bureau of Immigration detention center, but after his lawyers filed a petition for a writ of amparo with interim remedies, the Manila Regional Trial Court ordered his release to Philippine National Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon. The Philippine National Police was also tasked to provide protection to his family in the Philippines.
Later, he was hired as a contractor by Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), the third largest Christian religion in the Philippines, to help build the world’s largest domed arena, now known as the Philippine Arena. His being involved in the construction of the Philippine Arena has lead to a controversy.
Ja had already been arrested and was supposed to be deported to Korea, but he was granted temporary freedom. Thanks to a Palace official who allegedly signed an order to release him from detention. As stated in the order, Ja will be free while he waits for the court’s decision on his appeal regarding his deportation case. As if this was not questionable enough, Ja was turned over to members of Iglesia ni Cristo. Many Filipino citizens are not only criticizing the government for freeing the Korean fugitive and preventing (or delaying) his deportation but some are also vilifying the INC for harboring an accused wanted embezzler.