QCPD: 5-man rob gang falls, thanks to checkpoint
The Quezon City police on Saturday arrested five suspected members of a criminal group held responsible for at least three robbery-holdup incidents this year.
Ramon Africa, the alleged leader of the group, was captured along with Edwin Africa, Edilberto Africa, Paulino Villasis and James Suzuki, in an operation that started with the police encountering one of them by chance on the street.
Edwin was traveling on his motorcycle in the wee hours and was stopped at a police checkpoint in Cubao, where he failed to present identification and vehicle registration papers. This prompted the officers to take him in for questioning, according to Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director Senior Supt. Joel Pagdilao.
Edwin admitted being part of the so-called Africa group and revealed the other members’ location at a residential compound at the corner of Cotabato and Davao Streets in Barangay Culiat, Pagdilao said.
A QCPD team later arrested Ramon and three other suspects at the site around 6 a.m. Confiscated from the group were five motorcycles, a Toyota Vios, a taxi meter, illegal drug paraphernalia and about 5 grams of “shabu.”
According to Pagdilao, the Africa group is suspected to be behind at least three holdup incidents in the city. The victims included a Banco De Oro depositor who lost P180,000 in a robbery on Mindanao Avenue; the employees of a Baliwag Lechon branch on Tandang Sora where some P100,000 in cash was taken; and an Indian businessman in Barangay Culiat who lost P5,000.
Pagdilao also noted that the Vios recovered from the suspects was originally a taxi cab that had been repainted and its license plate changed from UWE 443 to WYI 4256.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.