DEEPER PROBE | Sugar groups call on authorities to conduct further investigation on sugar heist

DEEPER PROBE | Sugar groups call on authorities to conduct further investigation on sugar heist

Some sugar groups in Negros Occidental are calling for a deeper probe into the sugar heist involving the 1,000 bags of sugar worth P3 million.

This is based on the suspicion that the incident is not just a simple robbery case involving the two wing van drivers who first came out with the story that they were hijacked on their way to Iloilo from Biscom-Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Company.

The two drivers, identified as Jujiet Arseño of Pototan, Iloilo, and Michael Oryen of Cadiz City, Negros Occidental, are facing charges of qualified theft and carnapping.

The United Sugar Producers Federation of the Philippines (Unifed) calls on the authorities for a deeper investigation into the incident.

Unifed president Manuel Lamata admitted that it is possible that they too can be victimized, which is why they have called for an immediate meeting with other sugar federation members.

He lauded the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo) for quickly solving the incident as well as for tracking down the stolen sugar, which is valued at around P3 million.

He also believes that there are more personalities involved in the theft and that a larger group may be behind the incident.

Meanwhile, Bago City police chief Lt. Colonel Jay Malong said the owner of the 1,000 sugar bags and trucking services that own the two trucks had expressed their desire to file criminal charges against the drivers.

Malong said they conducted an investigation and discovered that the trucks stopped in Pontevedra to get their ferry fare, as the trucks were supposed to cross to Iloilo province to deliver the sugar.

Aside from the two drivers, other suspects involved in the heist boarded the wing vans in Hinigaran, while the fourth suspect was picked up in Pontevedra.

Malong also believes that there is a possibility that there are more individuals involved in the incident, as one of the arrested drivers has already revealed who was the mastermind behind the theft.

The sugar bags are unloaded in an old warehouse in Barangay Busay, Bago City.

The wing vans were reportedly equipped with a Global Positioning System (GPS) that helped authorities immediately determine that the incident was not a highjack but an inside job involving the two drivers.*

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