2 men suspected of stealing police guns arrested
MANILA, Philippines—The police have arrested two suspects in the alleged firearms pilferage in connection with the loss of P12-million worth of handguns kept inside the storage facility of the Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Office (PNP-FEO).
An employee of gun store JOAVI Philippine Corporation and his accomplice were nabbed separately for allegedly stealing 59 missing guns kept in the PNP headquarters at Camp Crame.
The arrests were made after Director General Alan Purisima, PNP Chief, ordered the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to form a team to investigate the case.
Senior Superintendent Roberto Fajardo Jr., PNP CIDG-NCR chief, said in a statement Friday that the missing firearms were discovered after JOAVI Phil. Corp. conducted a random inventory of their stock of firearms in the PNP-FEO.
Fajardo said 20 pieces of Sphinx Compact SDP, 16 Kriss Vector SDP, 12 Caracal F., eight Sphinx 3000 Compact, and three Arcus 98 DAC worth P11,760,000 went unaccounted for.
Harold Sumalde, the gun store’s vault keeper, admitted to the pilferage of handguns from JOAVI Phil. Corp.’s collection as the CIDG operatives accosted him.
Sumalde, 23, of Bagbagin, Caloocan city, pointed to the authorities his accomplice Raymond Lopez, 34, who sold and traded the stolen guns to buyers.
Aside from conniving with Sumalde, Lopez, a driver and resident of Valenzuela City, was also placed under the custody of police for illegally possessing .45 caliber pistol during his arrest in Quezon City.
Both suspects were subjected to inquest proceedings before Quezon City Prosecutors’ Office for cases of qualified theft and violation of Section 32 of the Comprehensive Law on Firearms and Ammunition.
The stolen firearms have been placed under the wanted list of the PNP-FEO Firearms Information Management System (FIMS).
Media reports also said 10 personnel of the PNP-FEO were being investigated for their alleged involvement in the incident.
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