Police foil break-in by bank burrowers | Inquirer News

Police foil break-in by bank burrowers

/ 03:47 PM October 01, 2014

KORONADAL CITY, Philippines — Police arrested on Tuesday a band of alleged bank robbers from Luzon whom the authorities had been monitoring for about a week as the men were digging a tunnel leading from a creek to a branch of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. in the neighboring town of Surallah.

Senior Supt. Jose Briones Jr., South Cotabato police provincial director, said police uncovered the tunnel following the arrest of the alleged bank robbers at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Tacurong City in adjacent Sultan Kudarat province where they tried to escape after realizing they were under surveillance Tuesday afternoon.

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Briones identified the eight suspects as Christopher Kaya, 23, and Nadaryo Tayoho, both of Benguet Province; Richard Payas of Tarlac City; Jonathan Jabradilla, 31, of Baguio City; Elvis Lawig, 52, of Mountain Province; Palong Apayez, 43, of Ilocos Sur; Alan Diwan, 28, of Isabela; and Johnny Ramos of Quirino.

Briones said they were identified through their drivers’ licenses and other identification cards.

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He said that five days earlier, an informant alerted the police to unusual digging activity at the creek some 70 meters behind the bank, located on one of Surallah’s busiest streets. The informant said the men told him they were looking for snake turtles—so called because of their long necks—but he became suspicious and decided to tell the police.

“Since then we built up the case; conducted surveillance operations. We tailed them every hour, every minute, leading to their arrest,” Briones said.

Sensing police were watching them, the men left hurriedly around 4 p.m. in a grey van toward Tacurong City, Briones said. They were apprehended at a military and police checkpoint outside Tacurong.

Upon questioning, Briones said, the suspects admitted they rented a house in Surallah town and frequented Koronadal, capital of South Cotabato province, as they planned the bank break-in.

“We suspect the gang has a financier,” Briones said, adding the gang arrived in the province on September 3.

Charges were being prepared against the suspects, who were being held in jail in Surallah, Briones said.

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TAGS: Crime, Police, RCBC, Regions, South Cotabato
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