Wednesday Dec, 06 2023 10:16:32 PM

4 cops in P1.8 Zamboanga City robbery arrested

TIMRA Reports • 08:15 AM Mon Nov 20, 2023
John Felix Unson
A police team found the two stolen safety vaults of trader Al-Ghabid Abdul in a secluded area. (From Zamboanga CPO)

COTABATO CITY - Four policemen, one of them a lieutenant, were arrested one after another in police operations in Zamboanga City on Saturday, exactly four days after they allegedly divested in a daring heist a local Tausug trader of P1.8 million worth of cash.

Police Lt. Ariel Jolatoria, Patrolman Rayan Apostol, Senior Master Sgt. Alnajer Ynawat and Staff Sgt. Edcel Nicolas was first reported by authorities in Zamboanga City on Wednesday last week to have intruded into the residence of a Tausug merchant, Al-Ghabid Abdul, in the guise of serving him a fake warrant of arrest for a criminal offense, divested him of mobile phones and took with them his two portable safety vaults as they escaped.

Jalatoria belongs to the Regional Support Unit-Police Regional Office-9, while Apostol is a member of the Zamboanga City Police Office 2nd Mobile Force Company. Ynawat is under the Zamboanga City Police Office Mobile Patrol Unit and the fourth suspect, Nicolas, is assigned to the Zamboanga City Police Station 7.

Officials of the Zamboanga City Police Office and PRO-9 confirmed to reporters on Sunday that the four policemen are now detained, to be prosecuted for armed robbery.

Senior police officials and sources from the intelligence units of the military’s Western Mindanao Command in Zamboanga City said Sunday that neighbors of Abdul were instrumental in identifying the four suspects.

They reportedly confirmed to investigators and agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-9 that having seen the four suspects load the two safety vaults from the house of Abdul into a vehicle parked nearby that turned out to be one of the units owned by Ynawat, who has a rent-a-car business.

Efforts to locate Jalatoria, Apostol, and Ynawat were hastened by the prior confession of Nicolas about his role in their having robbed Abdul of P1.8 million worth of cash.

Nicolas and other confidential informants even led a police team to where they hid Mr. Abdul’s safety vaults which they destroyed to get the money inside. 

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