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13 April 2024

Japanese man lured to Philippines for kidnapping


A Japanese man has been freed after being lured to Manila and kidnapped as part of a complex plot organised by a business partner he had fallen out with, the Philippines' police chief said Tuesday.

Philippine police rescued the 32-year-old victim on April 5 and arrested two Filipinos and a Japanese fugitive who had been holding him in a house outside the capital, national police chief Director-General Ronaldo Dela Rosa said.

The unnamed victim, a Tokyo resident, arrived in the Philippines in March with a Japanese business partner, senior police official Glenn Dumlao told reporters.

"During the investigation we conducted, we found he was tricked by his friend. They were business partners and allegedly, they had a rift in their business," he said, without elaborating on the men's ties.

Shortly after arrival in Manila the business partner returned to Japan and the victim was met at his hotel by two Filipinos, who asked him to come with them.

The victim was initially reluctant, but agreed to accompany the men after being instructed to do so by the business partner.

The two Filipinos, along with a Japanese national took the victim to a house and held him while his family in Japan was contacted.

The Japanese embassy in Manila, acting on the request of the kidnapped man's family, sought the help of the local police who rescued the victim and arrested the suspects, Dela Rosa said.

The Japanese suspect, who had his passport cancelled in 2015, is also facing fraud charges in Japan, police said.

Dumlao said he could not elaborate on any ransom demands as the negotiations were carried out with victim's family in Japan and it was Tokyo's policy not to divulge such details.

The Japanese police were still looking for the victim's business partner, he added.

The Japanese embassy in Manila declined to comment on the matter.

Kidnapping for ransom gangs are known to be active in the Philippines, sometimes targeting foreigners with the assistance of their countrymen.