The Makati police confirmed today that they are investigating the reported kidnapping of a Chinese woman that occurred last night.
Makati City Police Chief Col. Rogelio Simon said that the victim was abducted by men in a Kia Carnival van at the corner of Paseo de Roxas and Nieva Street at about 9pm, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports. Simon confirmed the crime after a video circulated on social media on Monday showing a person being dragged into a silver-colored vehicle. The victim screams “tulong!” (“help!”) before the van speeds away with its door still open.
The authorities found documents left behind at the scene of the crime, such as photocopies of Chinese passports and deeds of sale, which were enclosed in an envelope. The police are now tracking down the owners of the passports.
While the plate number of the vehicle ordinarily would have helped the police track down the perpetrators, Simon said the plate the van used was registered to another vehicle, a Mitsubishi L300 van, suggesting the plate may have been stolen.
One eyewitness told ABS-CBN News that they wanted to help the woman, but were afraid of being hurt. Another said he thought the victim was merely in the middle of a lover’s quarrel.
“I thought it was a couple arguing, but that wasn’t the case,” he said.
Col. Simon added that police are looking into the possibility that the victim and perpetrators are linked to Philippine offshore gaming companies (POGOs).
POGOs offer online gaming services to foreign clients, most of whom are Chinese, and predominantly employ Chinese nationals. The controversial companies proliferated after President Rodrigo Duterte came into power, in part because of his government’s warm relationship with Beijing.
On Sunday, Makati Mayor Abby Binay said that her government would indefinitely stop issuing business permits to POGOs, blaming their employees for Makati’s overheated real estate market and an increase in criminal incidents.
Show your local Manila pride with our new City Logo Tee! Available on sale until September 30 at The Coconuts Shop.