French fugitive jailed for attempting to bribe officials in the Philippines

A Frenchman wanted for drug-related crimes was caught along with two companions who tried to help him bribe the arresting officers in the Philippines.

Julien Barbier, 39, was arrested at the Clark International Speedway in Mabalacat City, Pampanga province, on January 29 morning.

Immigration officers and the local police assisted in the operation after verifying reports that Julien had been visiting the motorsport venue.

He had two Filipino companions who helped him try and pay off the cops on the time of the arrest for 1.5 million pesos.

However, the officers refused and arrested the three of them instead before taking them to the station.

The fugitive was being monitored by the Interpol since 2018 for alleged transport, sale, or use of illegal drugs.

He was issued an arrest warrant while he was still in France in 2017 but he fled the country until he was caught.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Fugitive Search Unit chief Bobby Raquepo said they traced the Frenchman after being linked to an illegal bank fraud syndicate that operated in the province where he was caught and further south Cebu.

He said: ‘Upon receipt of information about his crimes, the BI Commissioner immediately issued a Mission Order to effect his arrest. His presence in the country is a risk to public safety and security.

‘He, along with two Filipino cohorts, offered P1.5 million in exchange for his liberty. We immediately informed the Commissioner about this, and he instructed us to arrest the two others for this crime.’

Julien is temporarily detained at the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG CFU) Angeles headquarters while his two companions were jailed at the police station before being charged with corruption of public officials.

Authorities are waiting for the result of his Covid-19 testing before his deportation will be processed.