Raps filed vs 4 individuals in P3 million sugar heist
BACOLOD CITY — Qualified theft charges have been filed against four people over the P3 million sugar heist in Bago City, Negros Occidental.
Jhujiet Arsenio and John Michael Oryen, drivers of the two wing vans containing 1,000 bags of sugar, and two unnamed respondents were charged at the Bago City Prosecutor’s Office on Sept. 27.
Lt. Col. Jay Malong, chief of the Bago police, said the owner of the sugar lodged the complaint against the respondents, one of whom was believed to be the mastermind.
The owner of the wing vans was also filing separate charges for qualified theft and carnapping against the four respondents.
Arsenio and Oryen earlier claimed they were hijacked by five armed men in La Carlota City on Monday night, Sept. 25.
The two drivers, who claimed they were tied up by the hijackers, were rescued from the wing vans that were parked in Barangay Pandanon, Murcia town around 8 a.m. on Sept. 26.
The police later discovered that no hijacking took place and later recovered 965 sacks of the stolen sugar at the old warehouse of Negros Kabisig Livelihood Foundation in Barangay Busay, Bago City.
Malong said an investigation was conducted to determine where the 35 unaccounted sacks of sugar were left by the culprits.
During the investigation, he said the two drivers were not consistent in their claims and that their demeanor was suspicious.
Malong said that when the drivers were confronted with the GPS tracker report showing the movement of the wing vans was not consistent with their claims, Oryen offered to accompany the police to recover the sugar.
The person whom the culprits asked to find a warehouse and those who unloaded the sugar in Bago said they only discovered that it was stolen when the news broke out.
“They are willing to testify against the four who brought the sugar to the warehouse,” Malong said.
One of the suspects, who remained at large, previously worked as a truck driver and knew how cargo was transported.
The police investigation showed that the two drivers picked up the sugar at the Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Company (BISCOM) on Monday morning and were supposed to head for the BREDCO port in Bacolod City where the wing vans would be loaded onto a vessel bound for Iloilo.
The drivers stopped in Hinigaran to pick up the money to pay for their boat fare to Iloilo and were joined by one of their accomplices when they proceeded to Pontevedra where they stopped for about six hours, Malong said.
They were joined by their second accomplice in Pontevedra and proceeded to Busay, Bago, to unload the sugar from 11 p.m. on Monday to 1 a.m. on Sept. 26
Malong said the empty-wing vans were then driven to Murcia where the two drivers were tied up and blindfolded by their accomplices to make it appear that they were victims of a hijack.