Immigration officials have been instructed to keep a close watch on any attempt by Mighty Corporation owners Alxander Wongchuking and his brother Caesar to leave the country.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II ordered the inclusion of Alexander and Caesar in the Immigration Lookout Bulletin Order (ILBO) due to “the ongoing investigation on the ‘cigarette smuggling’”.
In his memorandum dated March 7, the secretary ordered Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente to “instruct all immigration officers to be on the lookout/alert for the above named individuals should he pass through the immigration counters in any of our international ports and/or seaports.”
Once spotted, immigration officials were told to inform the Office of the Secretary and the Prosecutor General “to obtain updates as to the status of the investigations and other relevant information that may be the basis for the proper course of action to be taken by the immigration officers.”
Aguirre also sent copies of his memorandum to Prosecutor General Victor Sepulveda and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran.
In the same memorandum, Aguirre also instructed Sepulvada to immediately file the case aand obtain warrant for his arrest “if it should be found that there is probable cause to criminally charge the respondent in court.”
Earlier, President Duterte’s ordered the arrest of Wongchuking for allegedly cheating the government of taxes. It was learned that the Mighty Corporation has allegedly been using fake excise tax stamps on its tobacco products.
However, Aguirre said there is no reason at the moment to apprehend the businessman.
“At the time of our meeting yesterday (Tuesday) there were no cases filed against Mr. Alex Wong Chu King yet, that is why I did not order his arrest,” explained Aguirre in a statement.
After the President gave the order Monday, Wongchuking who was accompanied by his lawyers, met Tuesday with Aguirre and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran.
“While the Department of Justice is at the forefront of ensuring that our laws be faithfully obeyed, there is a process that has to be observed under the law,” Aguirre had stated. (JEFFREY G. DAMICOG)