Police monitor theft gangs on Boracay as tourist fined for sandcastle

Police reprimand what appears to be a child for digging on the beach before kicking over a mound of sand. Screen shot from viral video (watch below). It is unclear if the incident was the one which led to the fining of a tourist.

Police are monitoring at least two gangs of suspected thieves who started operating on Boracay as soon as the island was reopened.

As we reported, on the same day that tourists returned after the island’s six-month closure an Italian visitor was targeted by thieves.


Fabio Sidri, aged 44, told police that he was walking towards the beachfront when his girlfriend noticed that the black bag he was carrying had been opened.

When he checked inside he found his wallet was missing. It had contained two credit cards, his driving licence, $60 and about 15,000 pesos in cash.

Police have since arrested two suspects. Reynaldo Buenafe, 39, and Carlo Vargas, 41, both from Iloilo, were arrested on firearms charges late in the evening of October 31.


Chief Inspector Ruel Firmo, Malay police chief, said: “They tried to blend in the crowd by joining the Halloween Party.”

He added that the other gang being monitored was from Kalibo, Aklan.

As well as these two organised groups, police are also keeping an eye on some residents of the island who may turn to theft.

Two suspects, one of them a minor, have already been arrested for picking pockets, salisi (distraction theft), and boodle-boodle (swindling) operations.

Boracay rules and regulations

However, visitors to the island have also felt the force of the law for violating some of the new rules and regulations introduced since its reopening.

A total of 14 tourists have been slapped with fines for smoking, drinking on the beach, dropping litter, building a sandcastle and driving a motorcycle on the beach.

Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said: “We issued citation tickets to them. If they continue violating the regulations, we may have to remove their accreditation.” 


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