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<p>Bren Esports owner cleared of all charges in drug smuggling case</p>
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A new decision has been made.

Updated on:

All charges against Bren Esports owner Bernard “Bren” Lu Chong for alleged involvement in a drug smuggling case have been dropped.
This follows an appeals court ruling that found Chong’s petition, filed in July last year, well founded.
The court found that there was no probable cause to charge Chong and that no further legal action would be taken against him.

The owner of multi-title esports organization Bren Esports, Bernard “Bren” Lu Chong had filed a petition for certiorari against the drug smuggling charge handed to him by the Manila Regional Court in July last year.

on the 8thth May, the Court of Appeal reversed that decision, finding Chong’s petition to be justified, noting that there was no probable cause to charge him and that no further legal action would be taken against him.

“The petition is meritorious. As part of the court’s judicial review powers, the court is responsible for reducing the burden on the trial court by identifying the real culprits so that the latter can be subjected to the dictates of the criminal justice system. According to ABS-CBN News, Associate Justice Bonifacio Pascua said in the order.

Bren Esports owner cleared of drug smuggling charges

A Manila Regional Trial Court had issued an arrest warrant for Bernard Chong and 11 others for their alleged involvement in the unsuccessful smuggling of PHP 1.87 billion ($33.6 million) worth of crystal meth (shabu) at the Manila International Container Port.

The drugs were with the smugglers in 2019, who tried to hide them in a 40ft container truck. The drugs were shipped to the Philippines from Vietnam and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) immediately launched their investigation.

As a result, the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) launched a manhunt against Chong and others, further urging them to come before the authorities and face the relevant charges.

At the time, Theodore Villanueva, senior assistant prosecutor, said there was likely reason to bring smuggling charges against Chong because of his role as chief executive of Fortuneyield, a shipping company in Manila, Philippines.

The evidence allegedly showed that Fortuneyield had paid the freight charges for the impounded container and Villanueva believed it was impossible to make those payments without the manager’s knowledge.

on 1St In July 2022, Chong filed a motion for Certiorari in the Court of Appeals, arguing that the Manila Regional Court committed a serious abuse of power or lacked jurisdiction in refusing to vacate the warrant and drop the criminal proceedings against him.

One of the discrepancies noted was that Chong had served as Fortuneyield’s CEO until 2019. However, the drugs were found in the shipping container in 2021.

Information surfaced in the court decision document that another company called Wealth Lotus was the recipient of the shipment, completely excluding Fortuneyield from the scenario. It was also mentioned that Fortuneyeld’s involvement in the drug case was part of an alleged attempt to confuse authorities.

In a statement to Esports Insider, Bernard Chong shared the following statement: “The past year was difficult. I am grateful for the justice system that protects the innocent. The truth will always prevail. Thank you to everyone who has offered me their support, understanding and encouragement during my difficult times.”

After Chong’s petition was substantiated, his arrest warrant was lifted, effectively clearing his name in the drug smuggling case.


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