Globe’s strong collaboration with law enforcers yields arrest of cable cut-for-ransom suspects in N. Cotabato

Two suspects linked to a cable cut-for-ransom scheme in North Cotabato recently fell in police hands after they were caught in an entrapment operation set via a collaboration between Globe’s security team and police.

North Cotabato police arrested Jonie Magtawil Dacutan, a member of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and his cousin Jimmy Apolinsia Dacutan. The suspects are linked to multiple incidents of cutting Globe’s underground fiber optic cables (FOCs) in Barangay Manarapan, Carmen town, disrupting services for numerous customers.

“Cable cut is not just a problem for Globe but a serious crime that affects entire communities by depriving them of vital telecommunications services,” said Joel Agustin, SVP and Head of Network Planning and Engineering at Globe.

“We are grateful for the support of the North Cotabato Police Provincial Office in apprehending these suspects. We will continue to work with law enforcers as we remain committed to protecting our network assets through enhanced security measures and active stakeholder collaboration,” he added.

The incidents began on December 12, 2023, when Globe’s underground FOC in Manarapan was severed by unidentified suspects. The perpetrators left a note demanding a Php250,000 ransom, or else they would cut more lines by December 20. When they did not get paid, the suspects struck again on the promised date.

A third cable cut happened on March 23, 2024, where the suspects left a contact number. This led Globe’s Security Team to engage with the suspects via text and calls. The perpetrators demanded a ransom of Php300,000, or else they would cut another underground FOC in Carmen.

Globe immediately coordinated with the North Cotabato Police Provincial Office to set up an entrapment operation in the guise of a payoff. That led to the arrest of the two suspects, who are now detained at the Matalam Police Station pending further investigation and the filing of criminal charges.

Intentional cable cuts, a criminal act, are a persistent problem for telcos and serve as a hurdle to connectivity.

In 2023, Globe recorded a staggering 26% increase in pilferage cases across its facilities, with 3,887 cases compared to 3,069 cases in 2022. Mindanao accounted for 510 cases.

In response to the escalating security concerns, Globe is intensifying its asset protection strategies and urging Local Government Units (LGUs) to conduct random inspections to enhance the security of telco equipment.

The company also called on the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities linked to cable cuts and pilferage to the Globe Security Command at 09176888545, the Philippine National Police via its 24/7 helpline 16677, or the nearest police station.

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