Cops preying on Saudi tourists probed

By Jose Rodel Clapano, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 09 2014 07:40 AM | Updated as of Jan 09 2014 03:40 PM

MANILA - Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada ordered yesterday a thorough investigation into a complaint of Saudi Arabia Ambassador Abdullah Al Hassan about a syndicate involving police officers who reportedly extort money from Saudi Arabian tourists.

In an interview with The STAR, Estrada said Hassan told him about the syndicate during the ambassador’s courtesy visit yesterday.

Police officers working with the syndicate “are using gimmicks (such as) planting drugs on their victims, who are Saudi… tourists,” he said.

Estrada said Hassan told him the syndicate preys on tourists in trouble or in dire straits. “Police officers will be called for rescue or assistance, and the police come surprisingly and unexpectedly soon enough and… arrest their targeted victim,” he said, quoting Hassan.

Estrada said Hassan told him the police officers then ask the victim to pay them $1,000 to $10,000 in exchange for their release.

Hassan, according to the mayor, said these cases of extortion “have been occurring frequently at Police Sub-station 6 on Burgos street, Makati City; Makati City police headquarters; and Precinct 5 in Malate, Manila.”

Hassan said the latest extortion incidents involved police officers at Precinct 5, who reportedly demanded that Mustafa Abdullah Al-Shanquity and Fuad Abdullah Almohsin pay them a large amount of money for their release, according to Estrada.

The ambassador also said that police officers arrested Saleh Al-Adjl and Mosaid Al-Mosaid when they brought their unconscious domestic helper to a private hospital in Makati, Estrada said.

He added that Hassan told him that the police officers asked them for P200,000 but settled for P70,000. The two Saudi men were released after the payment was given.

Hassan also mentioned the incidents in a letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs, a copy of which he gave to Estrada.