GUAM GOVERNOR HALTS SCRAP METAL SHIPMENTS

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HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, July 10) – Gov. Felix Camacho yesterday ordered the cessation of outgoing scrap-metal containers at the port until the 27 remaining brass panels that were stolen from a federal park last week are accounted for.

Camacho called on the director of Guam Customs & Quarantine to "suspend all clearances ... until law enforcement authorities can determine who is accepting the stolen plates."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Customs have joined the Guam Police Department in their ongoing investigation.

"What these people have done is an insult to the people of Guam and to the memories of those who suffered and died during the war," Camacho said. "The incident is even more difficult considering that our island is preparing for our Liberation Day ceremonies."

A total of 34 brass panels -- containing the names of thousands of Chamorros and U.S. servicemen who were tortured or killed during the Japanese occupation of Guam and her liberation -- was discovered stolen last week from the national historic park at the Asan Bay Overlook.

Police have so far recovered seven of the stolen panels, and arrested Joseph Umiich Rosario Mafnas Elisobang, 24, in connection with the incident.

Elisobang allegedly sold, for US$369, the panels to Xiong's Family Recycling in Harmon on July 2, according to Superior Court of Guam documents. Authorities were informed of the alleged sale through a tip to the Guam Crime Stoppers hot line.

Elisobang has since been charged in court with felony theft by receiving, and a special allegation of crime against the community.

Camacho has also ordered the director of the Department of Revenue and Taxation to investigate other scrap-metal companies to ensure that they are in compliance with Public Law 28-8, which requires anyone who deals with the transaction of scrap metal to keep a detailed record of their transactions.

"These thieves have no conscience and we will not rest until we find all of those responsible," Camacho added.

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