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8 ‘Acetylene Gang’ members nabbed

By JEFFREY G. DAMICOG

Manila, Philippines – Eight suspected members of the notorious robbery group “Acetylene Gang,” including a woman, were arrested past midnight yesterday in their rented unit in Quezon City where police caught them digging a hole leading to a pawnshop.

Calling them “Snow White and the seven dwarves,” Quezon City Police District (QCPD) director uperintendent Richard Albano identified the arrested suspects Cecile Ibanez, 28; Ortiz Latungan, 48; Eric Secyang, 45; Arthur Bino, 26; Laurence Doyau, 38; Tarex Tayaban, 27; Ruben Sebnangen, 34; and Elmo Bustarde.

He noted that the male suspects were miners from the Cordillera Region.

Albano said that joint operatives of the QCPD and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested the suspects at around 12:15 a.m. yesterday at No. 3244 Villongco St., Barangay Commonwealth which they have been renting for more than a week now.

The QCPD chief said that policemen discovered inside the unit a more than 20-meter long hole leading to the nearby Ochoa Realica Pawnshop.

The police official noted that the rented unit was also filled with sacks of soil that have been dug from the hole. Policemen also seized from the suspects two hand grenades, a hydraulic jack, two hand drills, two crowbars, a head lamp, a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank with burner, and portable electric fan with lamp.

Albano said that information about the latest activity of the group was revealed following the arrest of their leader Julio Bidking by the Police Regional Office Cordillera (PROCOR) in Angeles City Monday afternoon and sub-leader Teddy Castro by the CIDG National Capital Region (CIDG NCR) who caught him while he was in the casino at the Resorts World in Pasay City last Sunday.

Both were apprehended based on respective arrest warrants issued against them.

The group leaders bared that members of their gang have targeted a pawnshop in the area of Villongco St.

Inspector Alan dela Cruz, chief of the theft and robbery section of the CIDU, said that Ibanez rented the unit posing as wife of a contractor.

Dela Cruz learned that Ibanez had told the unit owner that the place will be used by their workers as a place to stay for a construction project nearby.

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