French fugitive arrested, 2 others jailed for attempting to bribe

A French fugitive was arrested on Friday morning for being wanted in his homeland for crimes relating to drugs.

Julien Barbier, 39, was arrested by the Bureau of Immigration’s (BI) Fugitive Search Unit at the Clark International Speedway, Mabalacat City, Pampanga, in joint operations with the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Regional Field Unit 3, Angeles District Field Unit (CIDG RFU3, CFU), Intelligence Service, Armed Forces of the Philippines – Military Intelligence Group 41 (ISAFP MIG41) and the National Capital Region Police Office – Regional Special Operations Group.

According to BI FSU Chief Bobby Raquepo, Barbier was arrested following official communication received from French authorities informing the BI that Barbier is wanted in France.

Raquepo revealed that Barbier is being monitored by the Interpol since 2018 reportedly for unlawful transport, retention, offer, sale, acquisition or use of drugs under Art 222-37 of the French Penal Code. A Warrant of Arrest was likewise issued against him by the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris last August 2017, while a European Warrant of Arrest was also issued by the same court in September 2017.

Raquepo also shared that they received information on Barbier’s links to an illegal bank fraud syndicate that operated in Pampanga and Cebu.

“Upon receipt of information about his crimes, the Commissioner immediately issued a Mission Order to effect his arrest,” said Raquepo. “His presence in the country is a risk to public safety and security,” he added.

French fugitive arrested, 2 others jailed for attempting to bribe

Barbier is temporarily in the physical custody of CIDG CFU Angeles pending the results of his RT PCR testing.

Raquepo bared that French national offered the arresting agents for him to be released. “He, along with two Filipino cohorts, offered P1.5M in exchange for his liberty,” shared Raquepo. “We immediately informed the Commissioner about this, and he instructed us to coordinate with the CIDG to be able to arrest the two others for this crime,” he stated.

Raquepo shared that following their coordination with the CIDG, detectives of the City Intelligence Unit – Angeles City Police Office, CIDG Angeles City Field Unit, and CIDG Regional Field Unit 3 conducted an entrapment operation against the two Filipino cohorts for of public official.

“We thank our fellow law enforcers for assisting us in arresting these corrupt men. A certain Aaron Bolus and a Joseph Gonzales were arrested by authorities yesterday during the operations for Corruption of Public Official,” said Raquepo. “A case for Violation of Article 212 of the RPC is being prepared for filing against the arrested suspects,” he added.

Meanwhile BI Commissioner Jaime Morente lauded the efforts of the FSU in the arrest of the French national, and for coordinating the arrest of his cohorts.

“We are relentless in our drive to eliminate corruption. Let this serve as a warning to anyone considering to attempt to bribe our employees,” said Morente. “Never offer bribes, as I have instructed BI personnel to ensure the arrest of whomever would offer money in exchange for letting arrested foreigners go scot free,” he warned.

Source: Bureau of Immigration, Republic of the Philippines