Friday, November 16, 2018
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NBI nabs American linked to PH gunrunning

A 52-year-old American suspected of involvement in the disappearance of a Bataan lawyer was found to be using a falsified passport with the name of a deceased person, according to the National Bureau of Investigation.

Virgilio Mendez, NBI director, said the suspect, who is using the name John William Nash Jr., is also being investigated for links with an international gunrunning syndicate operating in the Philippines.

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Mendez refused to elaborate on the suspect’s activities in the Philippines but described him as someone to be an “alien who poses national security risk.”

Mendez said based on records of the Overseas Criminal Investigation and Counterintelligence Bureau of the US Embassy, information in the passport that the suspect uses “matched the information contained on a certified death certificate in the State of California.”

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“The information in the passport pertains to a deceased person not to the holder of the passport,” said Mendez.

He said the NBI stumbled on the whereabouts of the suspect after he was linked by witnesses to the disappearance of Bataan lawyer Joe Frank Zuñiga in 2012.

The suspect, said Mendez, also has links with gunrunning syndicates but refused to elaborate.

“Suffice it to say that an investigation is warranted,” said Mendez.

Lawyer Peter Lugay, the supervising agent of the NBI team that tracked down the American, said the suspect was arrested on Friday near a hotel in Subic Bay Freeport after he rammed an NBI vehicle while trying to evade arrest.

The suspect is now detained at the NBI headquarters in Manila.

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