Police foil staged robbery of P4.5-M liquor delivery in Quezon

Tina Ganzon-Ozaeta
Police foil staged robbery of P4.5-M liquor delivery in Quezon
The suspects planned to sell the 4,500 cases of brandy that they had claimed were stolen by highway thieves, say police

MANILA, Philippines – Police have arrested 6 people for staging the robbery of P4.5 million worth of liquor in Lopez town, Quezon.

Police Major Lalaine A. Malapascua, chief of the Quezon police Public Information Office, said 5 of the suspects – Rodel Bragais, Joseph Olavides, Noel Nosares, Richard Moran and Marvin Borlagdatan – reported a robbery incident to Quezon police on Monday, January 27.

The suspects told police that they were victims of a highway robbery incident, and that the thieves got all the goods they were transporting – 4,500 cases of Emperador brandy worth P4.5 million.

“It was dawn of January 27 when the suspects reported at the Lopez municipal police station alleging that they were victims of a highway robbery incident. However, authorities noted glaring inconsistencies in their statements,” Malapascua said. 

Further investigation revealed that the suspects were not robbed but instead conspired to sell the stolen products. Malapascua added that CCTV footage in the area contradicted the suspects’ robbery claim.

All this prompted the 5 suspects to reveal that they were instructed by Jon Jon de la Torre, a subcontractor for the liquor delivery, to transfer the shipment to unauthorized vehicles and stage a robbery incident.

Police said businessman Robert Chu, a distributor of Emperador products, had subcontracted De la Torre to carry out the delivery.

De La Torre was arrested in a follow-up operation with 1,441 cases of Emperador brandy in 3 different locations in Albay. 

The suspects were detained at the Lopez municipal police station custodial facility while qualified theft charges were prepared against them. – Rappler.com

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