The Philippines has been a particularly dynamic gambling market. Yet, gambling addiction has been plaguing some of the less fortunate and the country has somewhat fallen behind in directing payment to these individuals. One such is a 52-year-old man who was arrested after stealing and pawning a bicycle so that he could pay off his gambling debts.
Man Stole Bicycles to Repay Mahjong Debt
His case is not the most shocking in the country as earlier this month, a mother sold her baby on Facebook in order to cover her e-sabong debt. The baby was eventually retrieved after the mother turned to the police to retrieve her lost child. Things for Noel Abaquita of Talisay City also got a bad turn.
The man was reportedly trying to cover mahjong debt he has accumulated with debt collectors on his tail, pushing the man to desperate lengths. After the arrest, the man admitted to police that he had been stealing and pawning bicycles for a while now, attempting to cover his debt, but also continue to play mahjong in the process.
Colonel Randy Caballes of the Talisay City Police Station said that the man was heavily addicted to gambling and admitted to police about not being able to overcome it on his own. The last stolen bike which led to Abaquita’s arrest cost $580.
Police were quick to act though. Only hours after the bike had disappeared, officers were already sweeping through the city and looking for the suspect. Pawn shops were visited as well and Abaquita was eventually found with the receipt from one such establishment about his person.
Culprit’s Gambling Problem Known to Police
This is not Abaquita’s first time stealing bicycles, though. Caballes confirmed that the man was a repeat offender, going to show that he had not been able to receive help to tackle his gambling addiction problem over the past months.
Caballes was familiar with the culprit’s gambling problem though and admitted that police knew about Abaquita’s unhealthy addiction to mahjong. He was previously caught stealing. But his addiction made him go further into debt and debt collectors threatened serious repercussions if he failed to pay.
That is why Abaquita tried to raise the money he needed through stealing and hoping to raise enough to pay off his debt.