Seoul Police said Monday they will send four officials to the Philippines to investigate a recent shooting death of a South Korean man, the first move to probe into overseas crimes targeting Korean nationals.
A 57-year-old South Korean, identified only by his surname Cho, was shot to death by four unidentified armed assailants on Sunday at his house in Batangas, some 100km south of Manila, according to the police.
Cho, who had been engaged in the construction business in the Philippines for about two decades, was asleep with his Filipino wife and their baby when the shooting took place. The current conditions of his wife and child were not known.
Local law enforcement authorities are investigating into whether it was a simple robbery or if it was committed out of resentment by an acquaintance.
The incident raised the number of South Koreans killed in the Southeast Asian country to 11 this year.
The National Police Agency said they are set to dispatch a squad comprised of three police officers specialized in a crime investigation and one from the National Forensic Service.
It would be the first time that Seoul’s police were to send their officials abroad to probe into the crime that took place in a foreign country.
“Investigation is an activity based on sovereign rights, thus we are planning to support and advise the local authorities on scientific probe based on their prior approval,” said Kang Sin-myeong, the National Police Agency Commissioner-General.
The two country’s law enforcement authorities made an agreement last month that calls for collaboration on growing violent crimes, such as murder and robbery, aimed at Korean nationals.
Ten South Koreans were killed in the Philippines last year, while 13 Korean nationals were murdered in 2013, according to South Korea’s Foreign Ministry.
In November, the ministry imposed a travel ban on some areas of the Philippines. Under relevant South Korean law, those who visit an area under a travel ban could face up to one year in prison or up to 10 million won (US$8,700) in fines.
Seoul and Manila are planning to establish five additional task forces to deal with crimes against Koreans in the Philippines, including one in the country’s resort island of Cebu, the police said.
Currently, the Philippines has two such teams under regional police agencies in Manila and the northern Philippine city of Angeles.