BAMBANG Nueva Vizcaya: The Philippine National Police in Ilocos Norte has sought the transfer of place of trial for the four Chinese charged with various criminal offenses because of security concerns.
The Chinese identified as Dang Hoi Yin, Lui Xin, Lei Guang Fein and Leng Hai Jun were arrested for illegal possession of firearms and explosives at a checkpoint in Ilocos Norte’s northern Pasuquin town on May 28.
Police reports said that, the suspects figured in a commotion in Pasuquin’s Nagsanga village where they allegedly broke liquor bottles and were chased by responding policemen.
Their vehicle yielded three MP5 submachine guns, a Pietro Beretta pistol, a .40 rifle, two .45 pistols, a 9mm Glock pistol, eight grenades, and an improvised explosive device, reports said.
Police said through an interpreter, they denied owning the guns and explosive materials that were discovered in their rented vehicles.
Besides charged with illegal possession of firearms, the Chinese were also charged for gun ban violation before the provincial prosecutor’s office, police said.
Reports citing security reasons, the arraignment of the said Chinese including the group’s driver, Dennis Co, for illegal possession of firearms has yet to be scheduled.
In a text message on Wednesday by Police Supt. Jeffrey Gorospe, Ilocos Norte police spokesman, said the police have already filed a motion for change of the place of trial from Bangui town to Laoag City.
“It will be safer for the suspects if their case will be tried and heard in Laoag City,” said Gorospe adding they are high-risk suspects owing to the multiple cases they are involved with.
Bangui is located in Ilocos Norte’s northern coastal parts or near the provincial border of the province and Cagayan.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Immigration regional office in Laoag City is also contemplating to file charges against the foreigners for failure to present visas and other travel documents.
Also earlier linked to an Ilocos Norte politician, the Chinese could also be involved in other illegal activities in the country, according to the immigration officials.