GAPAN City -- Charges of robbery-in-band, direct assault and violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariffs Act were slapped against two identified Chinese nationals and 46 others, including 14 Chinese John Does before the City Prosecutor’s Office here on Thursday in connection with the over P114-million heist that occurred here on November 5.
The charges, docketed under I.S. No. III-06-INV-18K-0390-392 and filed before duty Inquest Prosecutor Dino Adriosula, stemmed from an incident that transpired in Bgy. Pambuan wherein the suspects were accused of carting away from a Bureau of Customs-controlled warehouse in said area various tobacco-producing equipment, assorted cigarettes and raw materials for manufacturing cigarettes with a total worth of P114,161,639.
Acting provincial police director Senior Supt. Leon Victor Z. Rosete identified the two charged Chinese nationals as Zheng Man Hu and Yi Fa Ming. Also charged were 14 Chinese John Does and 34 other Filipino John Does involved in the incident.
City police officer-in-charge Chief Insp. Jeffrey S. Alivia said the two Chinese suspects were identified by security guards at the warehouse through mugshots taken during their earlier arrest together with their compatriots.
Earlier police reports said some of the suspects were armed with long and short firearms when they barged into the warehouse, held at gunpoint the security guards and loaded the stolen items in six 10-wheeler wing van trucks before fleeing.
The robbery-in-band incident was an offshoot of a raid conducted by the Bureau of Customs on August 17 wherein said warehouse was placed in the custody of the agency after 17 Chinese nationals were caught red-handed inside while making fake cigarette products using tobacco-producing machines.
Police said the security guards at the BoC-controlled facility were apparently hoodwinked when 16 of these Chinese men entered the gates and informed them that the case filed against them by the Japan Tobacco Corporation was already dismissed.