By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOPPO) are in the process of tracking down four local suspects who allegedly acted as contacts for the notorious Ozamiz crime group that is said to be responsible for the heist at Gaisano City Mall in Bacolod City’s Barangay Singcang-Airport earlier this month.
NOPPO Director, Police Colonel Romeo Baleros, said the four are among nine suspects that barged into the mall and stole P4.5 million worth of jewelry from two jewelry stores.
Baleros said the four were already members of an organized crime group and also served as contacts, noting, they already have photos of the suspects involved in the robbery.
The NOPPO director said, when he was with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, they arrested 18 of 32 members of the “Martilyo Gang,” which is connected to the crime group. However, the gang would recruit new members to continue operations.
Authorities believe, based on the manner of the crime, the suspects were the same perpetrators who robbed the Central Negros Electric Cooperative, or Ceneco, in Bacolod City a few years ago.
Immediately following the incident, Baleros ordered all police chiefs to closely monitor ports and other entry and exit points in the province to hunt down their targets.
He also instructed them to coordinate with the Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, and port staff to report any suspicious individuals and activities in their respective areas.
Baleros added, he does not consider the situation alarming./DGB, WDJ