A father languishing in a Philippines prison has been told he could be waiting “weeks” before his release – but his family is worried it could be even longer.
Frank Bohlert, 61, has been in Bicutan Taguig City prison in Malina since September 14 after his girlfriend Arlyn made allegations of cruelty against him. No charges have been brought against him, but immigration officials are refusing to sanction his release.
His car, phone and laptop have allegedly been stolen from his house since his incarceration.
Foreign Office officials have visited him in his cell, and broke the news they cannot force his release.
And with some of his inmates stuck in the prison for two years despite not facing any charges, Mr Bohlert’s family fear he could suffer the same fate.
Step-brother Graeme Simpson said: “We’ve heard from the Foreign Office. They’ve said they can’t do much. They’re trying to help make sure he’s as comfortable as he can be there and that’s it. They can’t force his release because of legal implications. They have to do it their way.
“He will be deported, they have said it could take weeks. There are people there that have been stuck there for two years with no charges against them. That’s the big worry.
“From what we understand, the Philippines government actually pays the jail more money for the more prisoners they have. So they try and keep people there. They feed them the bare minimum and keep the rest of the money for themselves.
“We’re trying to keep his spirits up. It’s the only thing we can do.”
Mr Bohlert, who lived in Culter, Aberdeen, jetted to south-east Asia six years ago to start a life with Arlyn after the pair met online.
The divorced father-of-one, who is originally from Aboyne, ran a firm which hired winches out of oil companies in the north-east and also worked as a consultant in the trade. He and Arlyn ran a bar, Twilights Rock Bistro, before his detention.