Gov't authorities establish real identity of kidnapped Japanese

July 20, 2010 9:00 pm 

MANILA, July 20 – Government authorities, in close coordination with Japanese Embassy officials, have established the real identity of the Japanese kidnap victim in Sulu province.

This was contained in a progress report released Tuesday by Chief Supt. Bienvenido Latag, director of the Police Regional Office-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PRO-ARMM), based on the continuing investigation by Sulu Provincial Police Office (PPO).

”As verification made by elements of the Sulu PPO at the chief consul of the Japan Embassy, it is confirmed that passport number MZ6055066 was issued on January 31, 2000 to Toshio Ito,” said Latag.

It was believed that the foreigner used the name Amer Katayama Mamaito “as back stop or cover name to evade from his previous case of trespass to dwelling filed in Dipolog City, Misamis Occidental on October 10, 2005.”

Ito, however, managed to post bail before the Municipal Trial Court Branch 1 in Plaridel, Misamis Occidental.

Mamaito was the reported name of the kidnapped Japanese treasure hunter on July 16 at around 1 a.m. in Sitio Bas, Barangay Bangkilay in Pangutaran town, Sulu.

”Elements of Sulu PPO firmly believed that the victim assumed new name and his real name identity is Toshio Ito as reflected on his passport with his picture and confirmed by their embassy,” said Latag.

In spite of the discovery of the real identity of Ito, Latag said government authorities are still conducting follow up operations to address the kidnapping.

”Intensified intelligence monitoring is now being undertaken to track down the whereabouts of the suspects and the victim,” said Latag.

”Joint elements of Sulu PPO and the Philippine Marines are now conducting pursuit operations for the possible rescue of the victim,” added Latag. (PNA)

FFC/MM

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