Suspect should have had travel restricted: bureau

MISTAKE::Oren Shlomo Mayer during questioning said he accompanied Ewart Bent and left his phone in Bent’s backpack, but was not involved in the murder

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Sep 08, 2018 - Page 3

Police questioned a suspect in the murder of Canadian Ryan Sanjay Ramgahan, but did not impose travel restrictions on him, which enabled him to travel to the Philippines, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said yesterday.

CIB officials said that all main suspects are in custody after the arrest of Israeli-American Oren Shlomo Mayer on Wednesday in Cainta just outside Metro Manila.

CIB officials said a chance to arrest Mayer was missed, as he had been questioned regarding the case on Aug. 23.

Data from Ramgahan’s smartphone, as well as surveillance camera footage, helped Yonghe Police Precinct officers identify the suspects, the CIB said.

Mayer said he was not involved and accused American Ewart Bent, who was arrested on Aug. 24 along with Taiwanese-Canadian Wu Hsuan (吳宣), CIB officials said.

Mayer was quoted as saying it was Bent who had introduced him to Ramgahan, and he did not know the Canadian well.

When confronted with video footage and GPS records showing him in the riverside area where Ramgahan’s mutilated torso was found, Mayer said that Bent did not feel well that night and asked him to accompany him on a YouBike, the officials said.

Mayer said did not have pockets, so he put his phone into Bent’s backpack and forgot it when he returned home, the officials said, adding that Mayer claimed to have not seen Ramgahan on Aug. 21, the day of the murder, and did not know where Bent had gone after leaving him.

Investigators released Mayer after questioning, CIB officials said.

CIB officials said it was a mistake not to impose travel restrictions on Mayer.

Mayer fled Taiwan after being released, the officials said, adding that he allegedly used his Taiwanese girlfriend’s credit card to purchase ticket for an Aug. 24 morning flight to Manila, where he had previously lived.