Man kills himself in Philippine jail

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Man kills himself in Philippine jail

A Korean man about to be tried on multiple charges, including murder, hanged himself in a cell in the Philippines using the leather strap of his own bag, the National Police Agency said Monday.

The dead body of the suspect, surnamed Kim, was found at around 6:35 a.m. Sunday in a detention cell at a police station in Manila.

The police said inside his bag were pages of his will and an apology note to his family. The police were about to send Kim back to Korea to stand trial.

The 43-year-old suspect was arrested in Bicol Harbor on the Bicol Peninsula on Friday by the police for killing a 26-year-old female worker at a currency exchange center in Anyang, Gyeonggi, in 2007 with two other accomplices.

The three criminals allegedly took 100 million won ($89,900) in cash from the crime scene after the murder and later fled to the Philippines.

The trio’s criminal activity did not stop at the murder of the female victim in Korea, but continued in the foreign country.

They lured Korean tourists to the island nation by promising them lucrative accommodation and then held them captive, demanding their families in Korea wire them money for the release.

The police said they committed the crime up to seven times and suspect the trio also kidnapped a 32-year-old Korean tourist, with the surname Hong, who has gone missing in the country and has yet to be found. The police are not ruling out the possibility that the suspects killed Hong.

The police said they had apprehended one of the three criminals and put him on trial, which is ongoing. Investigators are now searching for the last suspect, surnamed Choi, who remains on the lam.

“Kim must have been under tremendous pressure as he had already drafted his will before the arrest,” said a police officer.

By Lee Jeong-bong [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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