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Philippines charges 5 with mail-order bride scheme

June 27, 2013 at 4:03 PM

MANILA, June 27 (UPI) -- Two South Koreans and three Filipinos have been charged with running a mail-order bride scheme, police in the Philippines said Thursday.

Investigators said they also found a group of young women, including one who was only 16, and rescued them, The Philippine Star reported.

The two South Koreans were both living in Charbell, a village in the district of Dasmarinas in Cavite province on Luzon Island, Police Chief Superintendent Francisco Uyami said. They were identified as Kim Yoon Seok, who has retired from the South Korean military, and Soo Chae Kim, an engineer.

Their alleged accomplices included Imelda Fabella, Kim Yoon Seok's partner, and two men, Sherwin Belar and Edgardo Salazar. They allegedly invited men to come from South Korea to choose among the women they were holding.

Reginald Villasanta, head of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission, said the agency got a tip about the operation, GMA News reported.

Investigators found 29 women being held by the group, Villasanta said. He said the women "were duped into promises of an instant wealthy life through marriage with Korean gentlemen although in most cases, they ended up in the losing end after becoming victims of grave abuses."

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