Saturday, 26 September, 2020

Casino gunman identified as problem gambler

Christy Curtis | 07 June, 2017, 04:43

The gunman, who wasn't identified, entered the Resorts World Manila complex early Friday and set fire to the gambling tables, unleashing smoke that killed patrons and casino employees. The bag contained an automatic rifle.

Armeen Gomez, chief security officer at Resorts World, said witnesses at the scene had testified to seeing multiple assailants. The alleged attacker also worked for the Filipino Department of Finance as a tax specialist until 2014, when he was sacked for failing to truthfully declare his assets and liabilities.

Manila police Chief Oscar Albayalde said Sunday the family confirmed the man's identity as Jesse Carlos, a former employee of the Finance Department.

A previous statement by Albayalde, hours after the attack was over, had said that the suspect was likely to be a foreigner.

On Saturday, President Rodrigo Duterte said that the attack was "not the work of the IS".

Duterte, himself, reiterated yesterday (Saturday) that the attack was not a terror attack and that although ISIS claimed responsibility, it was not their work.

Police believe it was 43-year-old Jessie Carlos, who had a gambling debt of more than $80,000 (US).

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The gunman who went on a deadly rampage at a metro Manila gaming complex was a Filipino gambling addict who had been recently barred from the country's casinos, Philippine police said.

NOT A TERRORIST ATTACK Authorities had repeatedly insisted last week that the incident at Resorts World Manila, which is located near the Philippines' main global airport, was not an act of terrorism but a botched robbery attempt. He was forced to sell his Ford Ranger pickup truck to help pay for his debts.

Many in Manila feared Friday's attack was linked to ongoing battles with militants aligned with IS in the southern Philippine city of Marawi.

CCTV footage shows that Carlos was able to breeze through security at the second floor of the Newport Mall. Carlos then took out an M4 assault rifle from his bag.

In the incident that unfolded just after midnight on Friday, Carlos first stole PHP113 million (US$2.27 million) in gambling chips from a storage room before firing gunshots in the casino and setting tables on fire.

The footage shows the attacker entering an elevator with two women behind him, shortly after arrival. Dozens were killed during the attack, mostly from smoke inhalation after the gunman set fires inside.

"The local government should also suspend the operation of the entire facility until they have complete results of the investigation like whether the emergency fire sprinklers worked and activated when the fire broke out", he said in a statement.

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