Rogue Philippine policemen caught for robbery thanks to Twitter
Even the most elaborate of crimes can come undone with a single photo posted on Twitter.
When rogue policemen staged an audacious robbery on one of the busiest roads in Philippines last week, they didn't count on a passer-by taking a shot of the incident and posting it on social media.
The photo of a group of gunmen surrounding a van in broad daylight at Epifanio de los Santos Avenue in Manila quickly went viral.
Chief Superintendent Abelardo Villacorta said on Tuesday: "We really started our investigation based on this photo."
Confessed to crime
Two men have been arrested while seven others are being pursued, said national police spokesman Senior Superintendent Reuben Sindac.
All suspects are former or active policemen.
Investigators enhanced the Twitter photo and were able to get the license plates of two vehicles, which were traced to a chief inspector and a former police senior inspector, reported Manila Bulletin.
One suspect eventually confessed to the crime and revealed that the rogue officers had accosted two men in a van, robbed them of two million pesos (S$58,000) and held them in a police station for seven hours.
The two men were only freed after the Twitter photo went viral, said Mr Villacorta.
"They got scared because of the photo so they released the two... and warned the two victims that they would be killed if they filed a complaint," he said.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas, who is in charge of the police, told AFP they knew the identity of the person who took the picture and uploaded it on Twitter.
"But we are withholding that for privacy and security reasons," he said.
The person's Twitter account (@jasgandingco) has been deleted.