COP NABBED IN POLICE HQ RECEIVING RANSOM

Manila, Feb. 1, 2003 - The Western Police Department (WPD) yesterday arrested one of the two policemen who allegedly abducted a lady Muslim trader and her 11-year-old son in Quaipo and demanded P200,000 ransom for their release.

WPD director Chief Supt. Pedro Bulaong identified the arrested suspect as PO3 Lauro Lorusta, 33, married, a resident of Bulacan st., Bagong Barrio, Caloocan and presently detailed at the WPD's District and Intelligence and Investigation Division (DIID).

The victims were identified as Omaira Umpar, 40, of 67 Carlos Palanca st., Quiapo and son Amir, 11.

Investigation by the WPD Theft and Robbery Section said that the abduction happened at around 7 p.m. Thursday while the victims were resting inside their house.

Lorusta and several unidentified men broke inside the Umpar residence and dragged the two at gunpoint. They also looted the victims' house of P92,000 in cash and other valuables.

Norania Umpar, the victim's eldest daughter, said that the money stolen by the suspects was supposed to be used to finance her brother Alik's trip to Mecca.

She said the suspects forced her mother and younger brother into a Revo vehicle.

Norania said when she called her mother's cell phone to determine their location, a male voice answered and demanded that she and her family pay P500,000 for the safe release of her mother and brother. The ransom demand was later reduced to P200,000.

Norania said the kidnappers directed them to deliver the ransom payment at the gate of the WPD headquarters along UN ave.

An entrapment operation was laid out by the WPD and nabbed one of two men who showed up to pick up the money.

Lorusta was identified by Norania as one of the abductors who told her at the WPD gate to proceed to the lobby. (By PRIAM NEPOMUCENO, Malaya)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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