Pagcor security officer returns P1.4 million he stole from vaultCebu Daily News
The cash bills were surrendered by 29-year-old security officer Pascual Urian of the Philippine Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), when he voluntarily turned himself in to police in Panay town in Capiz, on Thursday at 10 a.m.
Where did the rest of the money go?
Urian told police investigators he used part of the stolen money to pay his debts and other expenses.
Urian said he was tempted to steal the money in the early morning of July 14 to sustain his gambling and drug vices, according to SPO1 Romeo Sol Ortencio of the Panay police station.
The guard admitted he was a frequent online gambler and had piled up huge debts.
Urian was brought yesterday to Cebu City, where he faces charges of qualified theft for stealing the money from Pagcor’s satellite casino in Park Mall, Mandaue City.
A female security guard had seen him leaving the building with a plastic bag of cash.
Urian refused to issue any comment to the media, saying “Sila ang mohatag ug statement.” (Authorities will be the one to give a statement.)
Police said Urian was convinced to surrender by his aunt, Maria Elena, and her husband, PO2 Patricio Magusara.
He was accompanied by his brother Michael and Magusara, who is assigned to the Panay police, when he turned himself in.
“Lumilliit na ang kanyang mundo (His world got smaller),” said Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo, PNP Central Visayas chief, when the security officer was presented to the media in Cebu.
A manhunt operation for Urian was launched in Region 5, 6 and 7.
Renato “Junjun” Osmeña, manager of Pagcor Parkmall, thanked the regional police for locating the fugitive. Roque Cervantes, Casino Filipino Cebu manager, said changes were made in Pagcor’s security arrangements after the theft.
Urian acted alone when he took the cash from Pagcor’s vault. That’s what a female investigator from Pagcor gathered after her tactical interrogation of Urian.
“Nayawaan na kuno siya. Natintal siya sa kwarta,” she said. (He said he was overcome by temptation.)
Urian had been working as an internal security officer of Pagcor for four years. He had regular access to the casino vault.
After stealing the money he stayed in Cebu for about a week before taking a ferry to Dumaguete, he told Panay police. From there he took a bus to Bacolod City, passing through San Carlos City where he took a boat to Iloilo and then went to his aunt’s place in Panay where he hid until he surrendered.
Urian turned over the P1,485,500 balance of the P2.8 million he had stolen to the Capiz police director, Senior Supt. Domingo Cabillan.
Pagcor representatives and the Regional Special Operation Group led by chief Inspector George Ylanan fetched Urian in Panay Thursday night and brought him to Cebu.
Ylanan said the police manhunt extended to Bohol, Dapitan in Mindanao where allegedly has a girlfriend, and Capiz City in Region 6 where he is a native.
Last July 14, Urian, was seen by a woman guard carrying a plastic bag of cash as he was about to leave the casino building at 12:50 a.m.
Asked why he was bringing a bag of cash, Urian did not reply but instead ran outside the building although it was raining.
Guard Violeta Angsigbat then rushed to the police Special Weapons and Tactics housed at the back of the Pagcor building to report the incident.
Swat officers failed to arrest Urian, who scattered P500 and P1,000 bills on the ground, causing pedestrians to make a mad rush for the money. He fled in a taxi.
The police eventually recovered P80,000 from bystanders who were still around. /INQUIRER with Correspondent Chito Aragon