Afghan-American fugitive nabbed in Cebu

CEBU -- An Afghan-American, who is wanted for several cases in the United States, was arrested by authorities inside his apartment in Barangay Sambag I, Cebu City early Thursday morning.

Shikeb Saddozai, 37, is wanted for forcible sex acts with minor, kidnapping, false imprisonment and sexual battery. He also has a case for assaulting a US marshal.

Saddozai also uses aliases, such as “Mark Dano”, “Steve”, “Steven” and “Mike Muros.”

Senior Superintendent Conrado Capa, deputy regional director for operations of Police Regional Office (PRO)-Central Visayas, said the arrest was made based on a warrant for deportation issued by the Board of Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration (BI).

The Regional Intelligence Division (RID), Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat), Police Station 2 and BI raided Saddozai’s apartment in a populated area in Sitio Kalubihan at 6 a.m.

Capa said Saddozai resisted arrest.

“He’s a very big and athletic guy. It took four Swat members to control him,” he said.

Inside Saddozai’s apartment, which he rents for P4,500 per month, authorities recovered a laptop and mobile phones.

Saddozai is temporarily placed in the female detention cell, which is vacant, of Police Station 2, located across the regional police headquarters.

US marshalls will escort him back to their country where he will face his charges.

Saddozai refused to talk to reporters.

Chief Inspector Mark Sucalit of RID, who led in piecing information about Saddozai, told Sun.Star Cebu that they had placed him under surveillance since last week.

Police informants saw him renting an apartment in Barangay Sambag I. He drew their attention after several women were seen coming in and out of his apartment.

Sucalit said Saddozai lives alone, though, a particular woman visits him frequently. The police are now looking for her.

Saddozai arrived in the country last August 19. He got past authorities as there hadn’t been a warrant issued yet.

The BI and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Central Visayas first conducted an operation against Saddozai last November 18.

But Saddozai jumped three-storeys high from his condominium in Barangay Mabolo to evade arrest.

“He’s very fit, that’s why nothing happened to him,” Sucalit said, adding that Saddozai has been seen jogging at I.T. Park.

Sucalit said they were informed that Saddozai is also violent after he bit the ear of a US Marshall during his arrest.

The immigration authorities were in constant coordination with the US Embassy in Manila for information on Saddozai’s background until Thursday's operation.

Last July, the police also arrested an Australian with suspected links to Islamic extremists in an apartment in Barangay Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City. He was identified as Robert Edward “Musa” Cerantonio of Melbourne, Australia.

Asked if Cebu has become a hiding place for fugitives, Capa said these people may choose Cebu, considering it is a popular tourist destination.

“They would just blend in. No one would be suspicious kasi maraming expats,” he said. (Sun.Star Cebu)


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