Canadian national Dale Elder and Filipina wife, Nelly Grafe, claimed they were victims of the so-called “tanim-bala” scam while checking in their baggage at the Dumaguete-Sibulan alternate airport, bound for Cebu yesterday.
Their scheduled flight on board Cebu Pacific was 2 p.m. and the bullet was discovered in their bag at 12:05 p.m., per record of the Aviation Security Group based in Sibulan Airport.
However, Elder and Grafe failed to come back, after relaying the information to the Public Attorney's Office and the National Bureau of Investigation.
NBI Dumaguete district head, Dominador Cimafranca, is in a quandary as to what to do with the case while conducting an investigation on the matter because the alleged complainants did not come back.
He said the alleged victims did not file a formal complaint. Cimafranca said they are ready with their investigation report and waiting for the Office for Transportation Security and the Aviaton Security Group to file the necessary charges against the Canadian national, who is reportedly ready with his legal counsel.
Found in the sling bag of Elder was a bullet of .22 caliber magnum revolver, marked Hornet, with a tracer.
Acting OTS supervisor, Velma Bajamunde, said the airport CCTV would show that nobody had touched the bag of the foreigner while going into the x-ray machine, except the owner himself. After the first x-ray was conducted, a second one confirmed that there was indeed a bullet in the sling bag.
But when the OTS personnel had called for assistance from the airport police, the Canadian national quickly slipped out of the pre-departure terminal, and was not seen again.
AVSECOM chief, Police Inspector Melvin Atacador, said they are filing charges against Elder if it warrants, to clear their name against his verbal accusation.
He said their best evidences were the CCTV footage and the two x-ray results, and would not allow the issue to be left hanging, that would create a wrong notion that they're involve in such activity.
Bajamunde also showed to the media several ammunition of various calibers of guns used as amulet or “anting-anting”, which they found while conducting x-ray examinations of baggage, before reports of “bullet-planting” incidents in Manila hogged the news.
She said Thursday's incident was the first in Dumaguete, and vehemently denied the accusation of Elder that he is a victim of “tanim-bala”.*JG
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