Philippine police capture suspect in grisly murder

COOPERATION::Based on their extradition agreement, Philippine police formed a 20-member team that tracked Oren Shlomo Mayer after Taiwan sent a request

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Sep 07, 2018 - Page 1

The Criminal Investigation Bureau yesterday confirmed that Philippine authorities have captured Oren Shlomo Mayer, an Israeli-American listed as a suspect in last month’s murder of Canadian Ryan Sanjay Ramgahan in New Taipei City.

Mayer, 37, was apprehended late on Wednesday, after Philippine police received a tip-off and raided an apartment building in Cainta, which borders eastern Metro Manila, bureau Deputy Commissioner Lin Yen-tien (林炎田) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

The bureau had relayed a request for Mayer’s arrest and information on the case to the Philippine National Police, as Taiwan and the Philippines have an extradition agreement, he said.

The police then formed a special 20-member team to handle the case, which tracked Mayer to a hotel in Manila and monitored his movements, International Criminal Affairs Division Chief Yang Kuo-sung (楊國松) said.

Yang said his office had also notified Interpol and the Philippine Bureau of Immigration that Mayer was wanted in a murder investigation.

Citing Philippine police, Yang said that Mayer had evaded police and attempted to go to the Israeli embassy in Manila, likely to seek protection from arrest, but it was closed due to a holiday.

Mayer’s capture is an example of continuous and improving cooperation between Taiwanese and Philippine police agencies, Yang said, adding that negotiations were under way on extraditing Mayer to Taiwan, which might take time.

“We plan to extradite Mayer to Taiwan, as we have received requests from US and Taiwanese authorities,” Philippine immigration bureau spokeswoman Dana Sandoval said.

Local media reported that after Mayer finished serving in the Israel Defense Forces, his family moved to the US, where he obtained a university degree in California before traveling throughout Asia.

Prior to moving to Taiwan, he worked in the Philippines, which bureau officials said could be why he fled there.

Mayer, who is also known as “Oz Diamond,” arrived in Taiwan in 2015 and worked as an English-language teacher before becoming a tattoo artist and opening a tattoo studio in Taipei.

The studio’s Web site listed a Taiwanese woman surnamed Yen (顏), known as “Cat Diamond,” as its business manager. Yen was Ramgahan’s wife.

Ramgahan’s headless torso was found at a riverside park in New Taipei City’s Yonghe District (永和) on Aug. 22.

Investigators identified three suspects: Mayer, 30-year-old American Ewart Odane Bent and 21-year-old Taiwanese-Canadian Wu Hsuan (吳宣), also known as Dan Wu.

Evidence indicated that Wu purchased machetes and a wire saw allegedly used in the murder, which authorities said might have been due to financial disputes over illegal drugs.

Bent and Wu were arrested late on Aug. 24, while Mayer reportedly departed for Manila early that morning.