Plight of Scot locked up by Bureau of Immigration makes headlines

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Frank Bohlert
Mr Bohlert pictured at the BI’s Bicutan detention centre

The plight of a Scotsman locked up without charge by the Bureau of Immigration has hit the headlines in his home country.

Frank Bohlert, aged 61, has been locked up for two weeks at the notorious Bicutan detention centre after his girlfriend Arlyn made allegations of cruelty against him under RA 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.

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Mr Bohlert, who has lived in the Philippines for six years, denies the accusations against him and has not yet been formally charged.

To make matters worse, his belongings including his phone, laptop and car have been taken from his house in Tanay, Rizal.

In posts online, made using a borrowed phone, he said: “I have been illegally detained, no arrest, no charges, no nothing, only allegations against me from HER.

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“A friend went to my house to get some things for me, she said that everything is now gone, my bank books, cheque books, immigration documents, cell phone, laptop, even my car is gone! Is there no justice in the Philippines!”

Speaking to the Aberdeen Press and Journal, his step-brother Graham Simpson said: “His visa was about to run out so he was getting ready to go to the immigration office and renew it.

“He got a knock on the door from the police and she made these allegations of cruelty. They took him and locked him in a cell. He can’t believe it. They’ve been together for six years. He’s heartbroken.

“There are no charges against him. They shouldn’t be able to keep him there.

“He’s in a tiny cell with a load of others. He’s scared what might happen to him. He’s sleeping on this tiny mattress. Human rights people went in to see them in the cell on Tuesday and they were horrified by the conditions.”

Freedom for Frank Bohlert

Mr Simpson said he was keeping in contact with Frank’s daughter Eva and had received advice on how to handle the situation abroad.

He added: “I know someone here who knows a good friend of theirs in the Philippines and they told us how to try to get him out.

“Otherwise he could be in there anything from two to 12 years, forgotten about.”

Frank Bohlert
Mr Bohlert in happier times. Picture from his Facebook page

The Scottish Daily Record described how the divorced father-of-one moved to the Philippines after meeting Arlyn online. The couple ran his Twilights Rock Bistro bar in Taytay together until he was detained.

He moved to the country to start a new life shortly after he was made redundant from his machinery parts sales job in Scotland.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We are providing support to a British man following his detention in the Philippines on 14 September.

“We are in contact with local authorities.”

The Bicutan detention centre is notorious for locking up foreigners for long periods, often without charge. We have previously reported on the case of Dave Bauer, who was locked up for six months before being deported. He was never formally charged with any crime.

For updates and information about foreigners being held in Bicutan, visit the campaigning website Voices From A Box

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