What ever became of the millions, which Iluminada Bovbjerg, the woman behind Denmark’s biggest case of human smuggling, made on smuggling 493 men and women from the Philippines into Europe?
That question remains unanswered as the Danish police has now given up the search after more than a year and half’s investigation.
Michael Kjeldgaard from the Danish police confirms that the search has been dropped.
“We have had a request with the Filipino authorities for a long period but it has not been possible to make any progress. We see the Danish case as closed. The main suspect has been convicted and we can’t keep waiting. All we can say is that we tried but it wasn’t possible,” said Michael Kjeldgaard, who emphasizes that he means no offence to the Philippines.
“Had it been a more “traditional” crime that had been committed and which had been more recognized on a national scale, then it would have been easier,” he adds.
Iluminada Bovbjerg was arrested in 2011 charged with large scale human smuggling. She was charged with making “several million” by smuggling 1049 Filipinos into the Schengen area via Denmark. In court the number was adjusted to 493.
The human smuggling was possible by using the 44-year-old’s travel agency, DenPhil Travel. On paper, things looked legit, but the visa application forms were all forged.
The price for entering Europe could amount to DKK 70,000 and Europol estimated that earnings from the shady business could be as much as DKK 74.5 million.
On Facebook, the 44-year-old has displayed herself as a benefactor who trough a fund in her own name has aided local Filipinos with medicine, sanitation and education.
If the money has really been spent differently has never been proved.
”The investigation in the Philippines should have uncovered what kind of funds are still out there. We have requested help in freezing the funds but it has not been possible to get a co-operation going and we have now withdrawn our request of resistance, said Michael Kjeldgaard.
The police have yet to prosecute the right hand of Iluminada Bovbjerg and some of the many culprits who acted as guarantees for the smuggled Filipinos in exchange of payment.