Bureau of Immigration (BI) agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 intercepted a Japanese national wanted in his home country for theft.
The Japanese man, identified as Saito Shimoeda, 25, was attempting to flee the country on a Cebu Pacific flight bound for Nagoya, Japan, on November 16.
BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco disclosed that upon detection of Shimoeda’s alert list order during departure formalities, he resorted to alarming tactics, intentionally bumping his head on the immigration counter and feigning distress.
The BI on-duty supervisor then confirmed that Shimoeda is a subject of an arrest warrant issued by the Tokyo Summary Court for being part of a large-scale telecom fraud group.
According to Tansingco, the suspect was said to be working as a fraudulent caller for a criminal group victimizing his compatriots while he is overseas. Records further revealed that Shimoeda entered the Philippines in 2019, and has since eluded arrest.
BI nabs Japanese wanted for theft
“The incident serves as a stern warning to foreign fugitives that the Philippines is not a safe haven for those attempting to escape legal repercussions in their home countries,” he said. “We urge foreign nationals to respect Philippine laws, and warn that the government is committed to cooperating with international authorities to ensure the swift and just resolution of such cases,” he added.
The arrested fugitive was placed in the blacklist and is now classified as an undesirable alien by Philippine immigration. He will be in the BI’s Warden Facility in Bicutan, Taguig pending implementation of his deportation.
Meanwhile, BI personnel assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and all other ports of entry nationwide were banned from going on leave starting November 15, to ensure there is adequate manpower to serve the traveling public before, during and after the Christmas holiday season.
Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco said the ban on leave will remain in effect until January 15, thus no application for vacation leave will be entertained or approved during the said two-month period.
“This is the time of the year when there is always an upsurge and influx of passengers and other international ports as Filipinos abroad, mostly overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), Balikbayans or former Filipinos, would spend the holidays with their families or relatives here,” Tansingco said in a statement.