The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) launched a manhunt against Bren Esports owner Bernard “Bren” Lu Chong. Lu Chong, who is also reportedly the local franchisee of Canadian coffee chain Tim Horton’s, has been accused of being part of a scheme to smuggle Php1.87 billion worth of illegal drugs in 2018.
The NBI is pursuing Lu Chong after he was found to be one of the owners of Fortuneyield Cargo Services. The company stands accused of trying to import methamphetamines, locally known as shabu, through the Manila International Container Port back in May of 2018.
“Mr. Lu Chong can spare everyone the trouble if he surrenders and faces the charges against him,” stated NBI international operations divisions chief Joey Moran.
In a seven-page resolution, Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore Villaneuva alleged that Fortuneyield paid Php20,000 for the container deposit and Php76,807.50 freight cost of the drugs.
The resolution then states that “it would be impossible for these payments of significant amounts to be made without the general manager’s knowledge and acquiescence.”
In addition to Lu Chong, the NBI has also indicted Xu Zhi Juan, a Chinese national, Alvin Bautista, Fe Tamayosa, Jane Abello Castillo, Carlo Dale Sueta, Abraham Torrecampo, Arwin Jay Caparros, Leonard Sucaldito, Mark Leo Magpayo, Brian Pabilona and Francis Young.
In response to the charges, Lu Chong took to Twitter to defend himself.
Hello Twitter, as some of you may be aware, throughout the last few hours there have been several news articles written about my alleged involvement in a case in my home country, the Philippines.
I’m writing this twitter thread to categorically deny these claims that may destroy the good name I have taken cared [sic] of for so many years.
Some of you may only know me as a part of the Esports community but in reality I’m a much broader person than just that, I’m an Angel Investor and Entrepreneur. I invest in companies/startups that I believe has great potential or start my own.
I invest in people who has great ideas, and more so, to individuals whom I see goodness and great talent.
I believe in the justice system that protects the innocent, and the truth will always prevail. I hope this clarifies any doubts you have and thank you for your support during these trying times. – Bernard Lu Chong
Founded in 2017, Bren Esports is a major Filipino esports organization with pro teams taking part in competitions for games such as Overwatch, League of Legends, Tekken, and more. The team has won 34 tournaments across their various games and has garnered a large following on social media. (Read: Esports titles for the 19th Asian Games revealed)
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