MANILA, Philippines—Saudi Arabian Jamal Thabitim Alyafel, 40, was expecting all the good things in the Philippines when he came for a week’s tour — beautiful mountains and sceneries, friendly and accommodating people, a nice stay.
But not after he left his moneybag containing his Visa and ATM cards and cash amounting to $1,600 (P65,008) on a sofa at the lobby of Oxford Hotel in Brgy. Poblacion, Makati, last Friday. Around 8 pm that day, Jamal said he left his moneybag on the sofa while arranging the fruits he brought at a market. He realized he left his moneybag after he reached his room, and went down immediately at the lobby to check it. He could no longer find it. He asked around, but no one saw it, he said.
Immediately, he reported the loss of the bag to the barangay (village office).
Jamal transferred to the Mandarin Hotel after the loss of the bag, and said Oxford hotel staff had not been that helpful.
On Monday, he personally went to Makati police, bringing with him a cell-phone-captured footage taken by the hotel’s security camera as proof. He pointed as suspect Michael Juan, the security guard of the lobby caught in a closed-circuit television footage of the incident as the only one seemingly approaching the sofa twice, and appearing to take and place something in his pocket.
Investigator PO1 Noli Jucal said the CCTV footage was not that clear enough to identify the suspect, although it could stand as circumstantial evidence.
“Although we did not see in the video the actual taking of the valuables, the mere fact he was the only person seen at the area,” made Juan a probable suspect, Jucal said.
Jumal strongly hopes to get the money back and file a formal case before he leaves in the next 10 days.