ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 24, 2010) – The commander of the elite SWAT team of the local police has denied Tuesday extortion charges made by a group of Muslim traders against them.
The accusers, who buy and sell second-hand cell phones, accused members of the SWAT team of extorting money from them. They said the SWAT team seized their phones after they failed to pay seven thousand pesos the policemen were demanding from them every week. “They raided our places and seized all our phones and this came after we failed to pay seven thousand pesos they were asking from us,” one trader told TV 11, a local television station.
But the allegations was denied by Inspector Noel Nosa, commander of the local SWAT force, said the accusations were aimed at maligning them.
“There is no truth to the allegations. They are just maligning us because of the campaign that we are conducting against illegal vendors, especially those that sell stolen phones,” he told the TV 11.
It was unknown why the SWAT is undertaking such operations against illegal vendors in Zamboanga City. (Mindanao Examiner)