DFA: pimary suspect in Joana Demafelis' murder now in custody of Lebanon Interpol

Mother of Joana Demafelis left / photo of alleged primary suspects 

Manila, Philippines – On Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has announced that one of the primary suspect in the murder of Joana Demafelis, the Overseas Filipino Worker in Kuwait is now under the custody of authorities in Lebanon.

President Rodrigo Duterte was informed by DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayerano about the news.

The Lebanese national, Nader Essam Assaf, together with his wife, Mona, who is a Syrian national, were both arrested after being tagged the principal suspects in the brutal death of Joana.

“The President welcomes the news that Nader Essam Assaf is now in the hands of authorities in Lebanon,” Cayetano said in a statement.

“Assaf’s arrest is a critical first step in our quest for justice for Joanna and we are thankful to our friends in Kuwait and Lebanon for their assistance” he added.

Reports said that the Philippine Embassy in Kuwait delivered the news the same day President Duterte visited the wake of Demafelis with an assurance to her family that the government will seek justice for what happened to the 29-year old Filipina from Ilo-ilo.

The DFA said Assaf and his wife have been the subject of a manhunt by Interpol after Kuwait authorities discovered Demafelis’ battered body inside the freezer in the couples’ abandoned apartment more than a year after her family reported her missing.

The news was conveyed by Kuwaiti authorities to Ambassador Renato Villa during a meeting at the Ministry of Interior on Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al-Tarah, assistant undersecretary for General Security Affairs, disclosed that Interpol Lebanon coordinated with Kuwait Interpol that Assaf is now in custody however, his wife is believed to be at large in Syria.

This arrest of Assaf happened several days after Cayetano was assured by Kuwaiti Ambassador  Mousaed Al-Thwaikh that they will do everything to find the suspects and to give justice to Demafelis.

Source: PNA

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