Crime group leader arrested in Zamboanga City


ZAMBOANGA. Authorities arrested the alleged leader of a crime group involved in the kidnapping for ransom of foreigners in a law enforcement operation at Estrada Street in Tetuan village, this city, on Monday, May 20. The suspect was arrested by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Special Action Force policemen.
ZAMBOANGA. Authorities arrested the alleged leader of a crime group involved in the kidnapping for ransom of foreigners in a law enforcement operation at Estrada Street in Tetuan village, this city, on Monday, May 20. The suspect was arrested by operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and Special Action Force policemen. (Contributed)

AUTHORITIES have arrested the alleged leader of a crime group involved in kidnapping for ransom of foreigners in a law enforcement operation in Zamboanga City, the police said Tuesday, May 21, 2024.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Jynleo Bautista, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Regional Field Unit-9 (CIDG RFU-9) officer-in-charge, identified the arrested suspect as Mike Ebol, 24, alias Mickey, a transgender.

Bautista said Ebol was the alleged leader of the Warla Crime Group, who had been victimizing foreigners.

Bautista said Ebol was arrested in a warrant of arrest operation around 9 a.m. Monday, May 20, in his residence at Estrada Street in Tetuan village.

Bautista said Ebol had a standing warrant of arrest with no recommended bail for the crime of kidnapping for ransom and illegal detention issued by a court in Parañaque City dated October 3, 2023.

He said the Warla Crime Group is operating in Luzon victimizing foreigners through the use of Dating Apps.

He said that the Warla Crime Group was involved in the kidnapping of Taiwanese Businessman Michael Lee on September 3, 2022 in Parañaque City. Lee was rescued on September 7 of the same year.

Police Brigadier General Bowenn Joey Masauding, Police Regional Office-Zamboanga Peninsula director, said the Warla Crime Group is listed under the year-end 2023 Joint AFP-PNP Intelligence Committee (JAPIC) - National Periodic Report Status on Criminal Gangsand Private Armed Groups (PAGs). ‘

“Congratulations to the collaborative efforts of the AFP and PNP in effectively combating threat groups within our area of responsibility,” Masauding said.

“Your dedication and coordination have significantly contributed to enhancing the security and stability of our region,” Masauding added.

Meanwhile, Ebol in an interview with local media has denied the accusations that she is the leader or member of the Warla Crime Group.

However, Ebol acknowledged that she knows some of the members of the group but “not so close”.

Ebol was brought to CIDG-Zamboanga City Field Unit Office for documentation in preparation for the Return of the Warrant of Arrest to the issuing court. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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