GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 19 April) – A foreigner who was arrested in an anti-drug operation five years ago was found dead inside a vehicle in a farming village here Monday morning.
Lt. Rodel Ventura, deputy chief of Police Station 3, identified the victim as businessman Hyun Seong-hong, reportedly of Korean descent who had long been residing in the city.
He said Hyun was found dead by concerned residents around 7:20 a.m. inside a white Suzuki Ciaz sedan with license plate NAO 1882 that was parked at a portion of Purok Masagana in Barangay Baluan.
The site, which is beside a grassy field planted with coconuts, is about a kilometer away from the main highway and 30 meters from the boundary of Barangay Lagao.
The victim, who was a resident of Barangay Labangal, was slumped at the rear passenger seat with two gunshot wounds.
Ventura said the responding scene-of-the-crime operatives found inside the vehicle a spent shell of a caliber .45 pistol and a plastic bottle containing gasoline.
“It appeared that the suspects tried to burn the vehicle based on the marks found on the driver’s seat,” he told reporters.
Ventura said they received information that Hyun was allegedly involved with a construction firm that is bidding on some local projects.
An initial spot report released by the police station described the victim as a Korean national but the city police’s Criminal Investigation Branch said it is verifying information that the latter holds an American passport.
Major Yul Hilado, chief of Police Station 3, said that Hyun appeared to be also involved in a lending business based on the documents recovered inside the vehicle.
“That is among the angles that our investigators are looking into,” he said in an interview.
Records showed that Hyun was arrested in January 2016 inside a local hotel by elements from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Region 12 for possession of illegal drugs.
Recovered during the operation were suspected shabu worth around PHP75,000 and various drug paraphernalia. (Richelyn Gubalani / MindaNews contributor)