Kidnapped Korean Student Found Dead in Philippines

A 21-year-old Korean woman who was kidnapped in Manila last month has been found dead. The abduction took place right in the center of the Philippines capital.

Koreans have frequently been victims of abductions in the Philippines, but they were mostly businesspeople held to ransom, whereas the woman was a student.

The Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said one of the abductors was arrested on Tuesday night, which led to the discovery of the student's body around an hour and a half north of downtown Manila.

The woman, identified only by her surname Lee, got in a taxi downtown on March 3 to meet a friend. That was the last time she was seen.

Lee had been studying in Manila for several years with her younger brother.

One of the abductors called Lee's friend and demanded a huge ransom, and the Korean Embassy in Manila contacted police.

A Foreign Ministry official said, "The abductors called around 10 times until the early morning of March 5 and allowed Lee to speak on the phone around five times."

Koreans expats in the Philippines are blaming local police for mishandling the investigation and accuse the Foreign Ministry here for standing idly by.

According to the Foreign Ministry, around 80,000 Koreans live in the Philippines and around 30,000 of them are students. Last year, 13 Koreans were murdered in the Philippines, while four more were killed this year either by gunshot or following abductions.

Out of 160 murders of Koreans overseas from 2009 to 2013, 22.5 percent occurred in the Philippines. On Sunday, a Korean who ran a bar in the Philippines was shot dead in Angeles City while having a meal with his family in an outdoor restaurant. 

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 10, 2014 12:07 KST