2 alleged kidnappers killed in Zambo; arrested suspects include cop

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/14 April) – Two alleged members of a kidnap-for-ransom-group were killed while a policeman was wounded in a shootout that broke out when policemen raided a suspected safehouse early Monday in this city.

Senior Supt. Angelito Casimiro, Zamboanga City police officer-in-charge, said that six suspects, including a policeman and a barangay official, were arrested while four others eluded capture in the raid carried out around 1:30 a.m. Monday at Veterans Avenue extension.

Casimiro said the joint raiding team intended to serve a search warrant issued for violation of Republic Act 10591 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

He said a shootout erupted when the suspects fired as the raiding team approached the place, injuring Police Officer 1 Carlos Bucaig of the Special Action Force.

Casimiro said they have yet to identify the two suspects who were killed during the shootout.

The arrested suspects were identified as Mamarin Pilay, 51, the barangay captain of Lakiki, Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte; PO1 Saudi Apion, 35, who is assigned in Lamitan City, Basilan; Alraf Apion, 27; Jakaria Jamani, 22, Allan Abdullah, 29; and, Nasser Siddik, 24.

Casimiro said the raiding team recovered from the safehouse four caliber .45 pistols with ammunition and three fragmentation grenades.

He said the group was involved in three kidnappings — one in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte, and two in this city.

“We are also checking if the group was involved in the kidnapping of Michael Kho,” he said.

Kho was kidnapped last April 2 in Barangay Poblacion, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte. He was released around 6 a.m. Sunday in Barangay Labuan, this city.

Casimiro said the group was reportedly planning to kidnap a high-profile personality in this city.

He said the suspects were also involved in gunrunning activities, although the extent of their involvement was still being investigated.

He said police intelligence operatives monitored the presence of the suspects.

Meanwhile, criminal charges have been filed against eight suspects in the kidnapping of a businessman’s son in Zamboanga del Norte.

Senior Supt. James Mejia, Zamboanga del Norte police director, identified the accused as Omar Wahab alias Binday, Jamaruddin Alih alias Boy Takas, Bader Salpuddin, Roger Kalas, and four John Does.

Mejia said they were charged for kidnapping and serious illegal detention with no bail recommended before a court in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte for their alleged involvement in the kidnapping of Michael Kho.

Kho, 27, a son of a businessman, was seized in the evening of April 1 at the family-owned gasoline station in Barangay Poblacion, Siocon.

Mejia said that except for Wahab all of the other suspects remain at large.

He said Wahab was arrested in a follow-up operation last April 4 in Barangay Malambunhangin, Siocon.

Casimiro said Kho was released around 6 a.m. Sunday in Barangay Labuan, this city.

He said Kho was recovered by his relatives and was rushed to a local hospital due to a minor bullet wound in the chin.

Mejia said there is an operation to arrest the other suspects. (MindaNews)