Austrian robbed, falls prey to swindle syndicate
() - December 10, 2002 - 12:00am
DAVAO CITY — An Austrian national fell prey Sunday to a swindling and robbery syndicate in Panabo, Davao del Norte but three of whose members were also immediately arrested by responding policemen.

Roland Bleyer, in his 50s, was reportedly divested of P300,000 in cash, his cellular phone, his passport and other documents by a six-man syndicate whom he agreed to meet in Barangay Malitbog, Panabo, Davao del Norte for a supported deal on gold bars and US treasury bonds. Bleyer arrived here last week in Davao City and checked in at the Waterfront Insular Hotel, where he reportedly negotiated with a certain Lillibeth Lozada for the said gold bars and Wells Fargo dollars transactions that was to take place in Panabo.

However, just when the deal was about to be clinched in the said barangay, the members of the syndicate blocked the vehicle Bleyer was using and robbed him of his money and other belongings. Responding policemen were able to arrest three of the suspects, identified as Liwan Sinuday, 29, Joel Sandunagan, 29 and Crisanto Cejo, 19, before they were able to flee the area where they robbed Bleyer.

The syndicate is believed to be led by a certain Rey Santos, who is adept at spotting prospective victims, especially foreigners who have established businesses in Metro Manila. Bleyer was said to be a ranking officer of a corporation based in Makati.

Recovered from the arrested suspects were 12 bundles of fake dollar bills, a cellular phone and a bag containing several clothing.

Southern Mindanao regional police director Chief Superintendent Isidro Lapeña said a massive pursuit operation has already been launched against the remaining suspects who are still at large.

Lapeña said authorities have to go after the leaders of the syndicate believed to be operating also in the Northern and Central Mindanao areas.

AN AUSTRIAN BARANGAY MALITBOG BLEYER CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT ISIDRO LAPE CRISANTO CEJO DAVAO DAVAO CITY JOEL SANDUNAGAN LILLIBETH LOZADA LIWAN SINUDAY PANABO
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