Sunday, June 10, 2012

CIDG busts gun permit ring

MANILA, Philippines – Agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) broke up Friday a syndicate involved in the selling and distribution of fake permits to carry firearms outside residence (PTCFORs) in an entrapment in Quezon City, an official said yesterday.
Two alleged members – Ramil Granada, 32, and Reynaldo Tibio Jr., 23 – were arrested.
Senior Superintendent Joel Napoleon Coronel, CIDG-National Capital Region chief, said the arrest of the two suspects stemmed from a complaint of Edgar Laugo, a businessman from Nueva Ecija, who said the suspects convinced him to pay P45,000 for what they claimed were genuine PTCFOR cards.
Coronel said the CIDG is hunting down the other members of the syndicate as well as the printer of the fake PTCFORs.
In his complaint, Laugo said he met Granada two years ago. Granada allegedly offered to facilitate the issuance of PTCFORs for high-powered guns, claiming he had a connection in the Philippine National Police (PNP) Firearms and Explosives Division (FED), later identified as Anita Cabatuando.
Coronel said that upon verification, Cabatuando is not connected with the FED.
Laugo told the CIDG he had wanted PTCFORs for his two licensed AK-47 rifles but could not acquire the permits. Last April 20, Laugo handed the P45,000 to Granada, who promised to deliver the PTCFORs to him three days later.
When Laugo received the PTCFORs, he became suspicious about their authenticity when another gun owner told him the PNP does not issue PTCFORs for high-powered firearms licensed to civilians.
Laugo went to the FED and personally checked the authenticity of the permits, which he found out were fakes. This was confirmed by Senior Superintendent Alex Sintin, who issued a certification that Laugo’s PTCFORs do not appear in their records.
After learning that he had been duped, Laugo – working with the CIDG – set another meeting with the suspects, saying he wanted PTCFORs for his five other guns for P100,000.
The suspects were arrested in a sting operation Friday at a fastfood restaurant along Boni Serrano Avenue near Camp Crame.
The CIDG has filed swindling charges against Granada and Tibio as well as Cabatuando, who remains at large. - By Mike Frialde