Fil-Indian in Makati hit-and-run spotted at NAIA

Mike Frialde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Filipino-Indian businessman who allegedly figured in a hit-and-run that killed a motorcycle driver in Makati City on April 20 was intercepted by agents of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) as he allegedly tried to leave the country last Sunday, the Makati Police said.

Senior Superintendent Manuel Lukban, Makati City Police chief, said he was informed by the Immigration agents of the presence of Rajiv Ramesh Dargani at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Lukban said Dargani was stopped at the airport as the BI had placed him under its watchlist following the hit-and-run incident.

“I was told that he (Dargani) was held by the Immigration agents at the airport after seeing that his name was on the watchlist. They called me and asked for a verification. I told them (Immigration agents) that we cannot prevent him from leaving as no arrest warrant has been issued against him even though he has already been inquested,” said Lukban.

Lukban said he did not know if Dargani was able to leave the country after the verification made the Bureau of Immigration.

Lukban said it would be for Dargani’s disadvantage to flee the country as the court would find justification to issue an arrest warrant against him.

“He would be arrested once he stepped back into the country. He has promised to surrender and we are still waiting for him to do so,” said Lukban.

According to Lukban although Dargani was raised in the Philippines, he still lists his nationality as Indian.

On Saturday, Lukban said Dargani, president of Sunglass Hut Philippines, again sent word through an emissary that he would surface soon. Sunglass Hut is a retailer of top brand sunglasses.

“According to the emissary, Dargani is just resting and is in hiding after he was allegedly traumatized by the incident,” said Lukban.

The Makati Police earlier said it was informed that Dargani is now confined in an unnamed hospital as relayed by his emissary, whom Lukban did not identify. The emissary, said Lukban is known in the local Indian business community and was the one who took care of the funeral and hospital needs of Dargani’s two victims.

Dargani earlier sent word to the Makati Police that he would be surrendering last Wednesday. He had failed to surrender prompting the police to directly file charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide, physical injuries and abandonment of one’s victim with the Makati Prosecutor’s Office.

Lukban earlier said a representative of Dargani requested that the police not directly file the case as he would surrender, but he failed to show up.


Dargani was identified by witnesses as the driver of an Audi R8 car (JVV-88) that crashed into a motorcycle along McKinley Road at past 3 a.m.

Police said Dargani was driving along McKinley Road on his way home to Dasmariñas Village from the direction of the Bonifacio Global City when he allegedly overtook another vehicle and hit a motorcycle on the opposite lane.

Motorcycle driver Henrix Bernardo died on the spot while his passenger, Glenn Nacion Jr., was critically injured, Lukban said.

He added that after the accident, Dargani allegedly did not stop and instead drove to Dasmariñas Village. However, Dargani left the village and has not been seen since.

Lukban said police officers went to Dargani’s house but neither he nor his car was there.

He said the relatives of Dargani’s victims told police that they are not pursuing the case and have executed an affidavit of desistance.

A check with the Land Transportation Office later showed that the license plates attached to the R8 Audi driven by Dargani belongs to a black two-door Porsche Carrera.

“It could be that Dargani did not want any inconvenience with driving a car without license plates that could be the reason why the car has license plates that belonged to another vehicle. He could have just faced a light offense for driving a car with license plates issued to another car, unfortunately, he figured in an accident that made it a bit complicated,” said Lukban.

The LTO check also showed that the Porsche was registered to a certain Joey Valencia of San Juan City. Its last registration was April 12 this year.

Dargani’s name appeared twice on the LTO database of holders of driver’s license without his photo.

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