TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Reports are surfacing that Philippine police pinpointed the location of a man suspected of taking part in the savage murder and dismemberment of a Canadian English teacher last week, however he apparently managed to evade capture.
Reports have surfaced that the second suspect in the gruesome murder of a Canadian English teacher-turned drug dealer, identified by police as a 37-year-old Israeli-American tattoo artist Oren Shlomo Mayer, who goes by the handle "Oz Diamond" (Chinese name of 孫武生), was nearly captured by Philippine police. After allegedly joining African-American male Ewart Odane Bent in ambushing, murdering and dismembering 43-year-old Canadian English teacher Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan (Chinese name 顏柏萊) with machetes on Aug. 22, Mayer is believed to have fled the country at some point within the next three days on a plane bound for the Philippine capital of Manila.
After Mayer fled, Taiwanese police requested assistance from Philippine police in hunting down the suspect in the Philippines, which has a extradition agreement with Taiwan. TVBS News today reported that Philippine police managed to pinpoint the hotel where Mayer was staying and had him surrounded, but he somehow "took advantage of the chaos" to escape at the last minute.
The exact time and location of the raid on Mayer's hotel is unclear, but it appears that the suspect remains at large in the Philippines.
In May of this year, Taipei police found foreigners to be in possession of marijuana in a nightclub and traced the origin of the drug to Ramgahan He was then arrested in Yonghe District for possession of more than 200 grams of marijuana.
After being leveled with drug charges, several of Ramgahan’s clients suspected he began working as a police informant and had started to betray their drug deals to the authorities, according to media reports. After becoming engaged in heated disputes with Ramgahan over drugs, two apparent drug-dealing associates, Mayer and Bent, allegedly plotted to set an ambush for him.
Knowing that Ryan routinely walked his dog "Lulu" along the riverside park near Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei City's Yonghe District, Bent and Mayer allegedly rode bicycles to the area and lay in wait for him. The men first pounced on Ryan and tied him down with a metal chain, before hacking him with the machetes, according to the Apple Daily.
Police said that Mayer and Bent dismembered Ramgahan at about 1 a.m. on Aug. 22, after which the two "happily" went to the supermarket nearby to buy beers to take back to Mayer's residence to celebrate, according an Apple Daily report. However, as news started to break about the murder, Mayer began worrying about being caught and feared that Bent' s phone logs would reveal their roles in the heinous crime.
Bent said that Mayer had asked him to flee with him that same day, but he refused, believing that their identities as the killers would not be unearthed by the police that quickly.
Police said that based on surveillance footage, they have determined that Mayer arrived at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at around midnight on Aug. 25 disguised as a backpacker wearing a red short-sleeve shirt and shorts and carrying a backpack, with no luggage checked. In the airport surveillance camera footage, Mayer can be seen joking with a foreign woman who was waiting in line, but she is not believed to be involved with the case.
Mayer then boarded Cebu Airlines Flight 5J-311 to Manila at about 2 a.m. on Aug. 25, according to a TVBS report, though Apple Daily reported that he left on Aug. 22 and SETN lists his date of departure as Aug. 23.In any case, SETN reports that Mayer took the earliest flight that day because he feared they police would be hot on his trail after he saw news that they had found Ramgahan’s phone, and he was in such a rush that he only took a backpack with him.
A memorial for Ramgahan organized by his friends is scheduled for this Sunday in Taipei's Da'an Forest Park from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.