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5 ‘Ativan’ members fall

  • Written by Itchie Cabayan
  • Published in Metro
  • Read: 293

FIVE women, alleged to be members of the notorious “Ativan Gang” who made the mistake of going back to the crime scene, were arrested after victimizing a Canadian national inside a bar and allegedly waiting for another victim in Ermita, Manila.

Now being investigated by the Manila Police District-General Assignment and Investigation Section (MPD-GAIS) are suspects Agnes Aguilar, 36, Michelle Valiente, 32, and Elma Matas, 36, all of Pasay City; Luciana Lopez, 48, of 261 Ligas 3, Bacoor, Cavite; and Merlinda Mercado, 43, of 232 Paghanapin St., Tondo, Maynila.
   
Investigation by SPO3 James Poso showed that Aguilar, said to be the leader of the group, had been arrested several times in the past for the same crime and was just out on bail when arrested anew. He also reportedly has a standing warrant for theft.
   
The victim, Brandon Arthur Joseph Drader, 27, a Canadian national presently staying at the Montesitel Hotel at NAIA Road in Parañaque City, claimed to have lost valuables worth at least $5,000. He told police that at 6 p.m. of Oct. 21, the suspects befriended him while he was taking pictures at the Rizal Park.
   
The suspects then asked him to join them in a drinking spree at the nearby Anabelle KTV Bar. After downing two bottles of beer, the victim said he felt dizzy and that when he awoke later, his valuables were gone.
   
The victim filed a complaint with the Pedro Gil Police Community Precinct. A follow-up operation yielded no results.
   
Last Oct. 23, the victim went back to the bar at 2 p.m. and spotted the suspects there. He then sought help from the barangay so the suspects were arrested.
   
The suspects were made to undergo inquest proceedings at the Manila Prosecutor’s Office where they were charged with theft.