Casino-tied kidnappings

September 11, 2019

2 Chinese, 6 Pinioys held.

AGENTS of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) have arrested two Chinese nationals and six Filipinos accused of involvement in two separate casino-related kidnapping-for-ransom cases, PNP-AKG director, Colonel Jonnel C. Estomo announced yesterday.

In a report to PNP chief, General Oscar D. Albayalde, the PNP-AKG director said that Chinese nationals Deng Shiwu,30, a native of Jiangxi, China and Jiamin Ou,28, of Guandong, China were charged with kidnapping-for-ransom and serious illegal detention in connection with the case of their two fellow tourists, Li Ning and Yang Yang whom they detained inside Room 1030 of Okada Hotel in Parañaque City.

Estomo said that in their sworn statements, the two victims said they met the two suspects when they went to Okada to play baccarat last August 30.

Last September 5, the two were offered an Okada hotel room compliments of Sun City Junket operators on condition that they can stay free for three-days provided that Li Ning convert his Chinese money to casino chips.

Two days after, the victim transferred 1 million Renminbi to the account given by the suspects and in turn was handed 1 million worth of chips at the casino’s Pit 95. Estomo said that after losing all his money on the casino table, the victim and his pal were herded to Room 1030 of the hotel where they were placed under guard while the suspects tried hard to convince Li Ning to borrow more money from the group.

The official said around 2 a.m. last Monday, Li Ning woke up to find the sleeping Shiwu Deng literally blocking the door to prevent them from leaving the area.

Alarmed, the victim made a call to his friend from Beijing and asked him to tell the hotel security of their situation. In turn, the Okada hotel security informed the PNP-AKG of the incident.

PNP-AKG agents rescued the two victims and arrested the two suspects following the information given them. Last Tuesday, the two suspects were inquested for kidnapping-for-ransom with serious illegal detention before the office of Department of Justice Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Azardo.

Estomo also announced the arrest of six men believed to be involved in the kidnapping of 45-year old brokerage agent Alvin Bangug at the Solaire Resort and Casino complex in Parañaque City last September 6.

The official said that they investigated the case of Bangug amid a complaint from his wife Marilyn. It turned out that the victim was dragged by two of the suspects into their van parked outside the casino before transferring him inside a blue Toyota Innova where he saw his friend Eugenio Santos.
the arrest and were able to rescue the two victims inside the vehicle.

The four suspects were identified as Reynaldo Parolina,41; Rico Castillo,45; Nathaniel Aragon,35; and Christopher Bagro,38.

Aragon, a resident of Block 47, Lot 5 in Barangay 183, Pasay City was described as a ‘casino financier’ while the three are his accomplices.

Estomo said that while his men were on their way to their headquarters in Camp Crame with the suspects and the victims, somebody called up the phone of one of the suspects and asked him if the land title of Santos was already in their possession.

The conversation between the two led the PNP-AKG operatives to the Shell gasoline station beside the City of Dreams in Macapagal Avenue where they arrested two more suspects identified as Francis Reyes, 41, and Melvin Culala, 39.

Estomo said that Reyes and Culala were positively identified by the victims as the same men who abducted them. Reyes yielded a caliber .40 Glock 23 pistol with a loaded magazine. The gun had an expired Permit-to-Carry-Firearm-Outside-of-Residence.

Last Saturday, the six suspects were charged with kidnapping-for-ransom with serious illegal detention before DOJ Assistant State Prosecutor Philip dela Cruz.