Saturday, December 31, 2016

4 members of kidnap-for-ransom group arrested in Lanao

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer (Dec 30): 4 members of kidnap-for-ransom group arrested in Lanao

LINAMON, Lanao del Norte—Four members of a kidnap-for-ransom group operating in the Lanao provinces were arrested in Barangay Mantapuli in Marantao, Lanao del Sur, the police said Friday.

Senior Superintendent Faro Antonio Olaguera, the Lanao del Norte police chief, said a joint police and Army team enforced an arrest warrant against the suspects—in connection with the series of abduction in the province in recent months—on Thursday.

The group’s latest kidnap victim was a gasoline station owner here, who was taken on September 12. Clarita Belisario, 60, was later freed after her family paid ransom amounting to P750,000.

Olaguera identified the arrested suspects as Nabil Balabaga Balowa, the KFR leader, Edris Said Sultan Angne , Nohair Ali Fanda and Jalil Lagiin Ismael. Balowa was once apprehended and detained at the Lanao del Norte provincial jail but authorities were forced to release him when the family of an earlier victim withdrew the case against him.

During the operation in Marantao, the arresting team also confiscated an AK-47 assault rifle, an MK2 fragmentation hand grenade , bandolier, a wallet with a Moro Islamic Liberation Front ID tucked inside, two 57-millimeter recoiless rifles, a .45-caliber pistol, a rifle grenade, two blue polo shirts marked with CIDG, and other personal belongings, according to Olaguera.

“The suspects were brought to the Regional Intelligence Unit of the PNP Region 10 in Cagayan de Oro City while charges for kidnapping and illegal possession of firearms and explosives were being prepared against them,” he said.

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