Suspect In Philippine Casino Attack Was A Indebted Gambler

Cheryl Sanders
June 7, 2017

Carlos had stormed into the casino wing of Resorts World Manila just after midnight last Friday in what investigators said was a robbery that went awry.

At a press conference streamed live online, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) director Oscar Albayalde said Carlos was considered a high roller among gambling circles, whose minimum bet was usually PHP40,000 (US$810).

Carlos was a former financial analyst who obtained massive debts because of his gambling addiction.

"This could have probably triggered him and that is why he was enraged with the casino", Albayalde said, according to ABS-CBN.

He said Carlos also sold his Ford Ranger and properties in Batangas to pay for his debts.

Carlos took an elevator to the second floor, and put a ski mask over his face.

The attack has generated "a thick fog of uncertainty, which will likely have a negative impact on investment confidence and hit the tourism and budding casino sector", said Richard Heydarian, security and political analyst at De La Salle University in Manila.

Because of being indebted, Albayalde said in April, Carlos was banned from all of the casinos in Manila.

He was working at the Department of Finance stationed at the One Stop Shop. Local media said his departure was related to discrepancies in his personal statement of assets and liabilities.

Carlos father said he does not know where his son got the M4 assault rifle and caliber.380 pistol used in the rampage.

Authorities on Saturday released video footage of the attack to bolster their argument that it was a botched robbery attempt by one man with no known link to terrorism.

Carlos was still living in the same household as his family but was estranged from them. "(He was) all dressed in black, burly, everything was covered, you can't even see his eyes", said Arguelles, who was about 9 metres (30 feet) away. "It's like being addicted to drugs".

A security guard tried but failed to stop Carlos as he was brandishing a baby armalite. More than 70 others were injured as 1,200 customers and employees fled the hotel in panic. Security camera footage shows the assailant, armed with a number of weapons, walking throughout the casino shooting in the air and lighting tables and slot machines on fire. He stuffed his bag with casino chips worth 113 million pesos.

The footage shows the attacker entering an elevator with two women behind him, shortly after arrival.

Mr. Carlos burned linen in the corridor. One of the statements also said the attacker "died as a martyr" - which would not make sense if he shot himself in an evacuated hotel room at the end of the night, as the police claim.

President Trump jumped the gun condemning the incident as a "terrorist attack" on Friday from the Rose Garden - before cutting ties with the Paris Climate Accord.

Other reports by iNewsToday