Cops arrest suspect in deadly gold bar heist

BAGUIO -- Police have detained a man accused of helping steal 21 kilograms of gold from a mining company in Benguet Province, authorities said Thursday.

Witnesses identified Joseph Coop, a local resident who walks with a pronounced limp, as among a gang that robbed a company vehicle transporting the precious metal from Lepanto Mining Corp. minesite on September 20, said Chief Superintendent Victor Luga.

The robbers shot dead four security guards and a mining engineer in the attack near Mankayan town and made off with the gold hoard worth an estimated P14 million.

Coop, a Mankayan resident, was arrested on Wednesday, Luga told reporters.

"He has a reputation as a lawless element," the regional police chief said without elaborating. AFP

02/10/2003

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