Philippine police arrest Israeli for brutal machete killing

Intelligence officers from the local police and immigration department agents raided the apartment in Kiente, in the Rizal district, where the 37-year-old Israeli tattooist was hiding.

Illustrative photo of handcuffs (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
Illustrative photo of handcuffs
(photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)
AMP FOSTER, Okinawa (TNS) — The hunt has ended: the Philippine police arrested Israeli Oren Shlomo Mayer, known as "Oz," who is suspected of murdering and dismembering a Canadian citizen in Taiwan and then fleeing to the Philippines, Maariv Online reported Thursday. The incident caused a stir in the Republic of China.
Intelligence officers from the local police and immigration department agents raided the apartment in Kiente, in the Rizal district, where the 37-year-old Israeli tattooist was hiding.
According to media reports, after the murder, Mayer and his African-American partner Ewart Odane Bent, suspected of the murder as well, went to Mayer's home in Taipei, stopping at the supermarket on the way to purchase beer to celebrate their grisly act.
After reports of the murder began to be publicized, Mayer began to worry that the two would be caught and feared that the police would locate them because of his partner's cell phone. Bent said in his interrogation that Mayer had asked him to escape along with him, but he turned him down since he didn't believe the police would track them down so quickly.
According to security cameras, Mayer arrived at the Taiwan airport on Saturday night after the incident and boarded a flight to Manila two hours later, dressed as a backpacker.
Mayer, a tattoo shop owner, has been described by the Hong Kong-based tabloid Daily Apple as a "drug dealer" and the "largest supplier of marijuana in northern Taiwan."
Mayer’s LinkedIn page says he moved to Taiwan in 2015 after living and working in various locations in California.
Mayer, a former IDF soldier and Ewart Odane Bent, 30, a former US Marine, were taken into custody August 24th by Taiwanese police in the killing of Ramgahan Sanjay Ryan, a 43-year-old Canadian who was hacked to death with machetes and dismembered on the evening of August 21st, according to the English-language Taiwan News.
Both Bent and Ryan were English teachers who were reportedly involved with a local drug ring. Taiwanese media reported that Bent arrived in the country at Mayer's behest.
Bent taught at Annie’s English cram school in New Taipei’s Linkou District as well as two other branches in New Taipei City’s Xinzhuang District, according to the Taiwan News. He reportedly slept on a couch at Mayer’s tattoo shop for a time and also lived in a dormitory provided by the school.
Taiwanese media said that the victim, Ryan, became known to police after an investigation into marijuana sales led them back to him earlier this year. He was reportedly arrested with a large amount of marijuana but was released.
Bent and Mayer were also arrested in recent weeks on drug charges, the Taiwan News reported. They suspected Ryan had informed on them.
Ryan had “heated disputes” with Mayer and Bent over drugs, the Taiwan News said.
Mayer and Bent are alleged to have ambushed Ryan while he walked his dog at a riverside park in New Taipei City.
The pair allegedly moved Ryan to a secluded area, tied him down with a chain and hacked him with the machetes, the Taiwan News said. They then severed his head and limbs with a wire saw, and the body parts were placed in white trash bags and dumped in the Xindian River.
The dog made its way back to Ryan's home and the next day two of Ryan's friends found his body by following the dog's trial.
Police began to focus the homicide investigation on Bent because Ryan’s phone showed they had argued over drugs, the Taiwan News said. Bent’s phone also placed him in the area at the time of the killing.
Bent was taken to the New Taipei Public Prosecutor’s Office after his arrest, but it remains unclear whether he has been officially charged in the slaying.
He had a bail hearing Aug. 26 and was not released, the English-language newspaper Taipei Times reported. His communications with the outside world are reportedly being restricted.
Bent has denied involvement in the slaying, said the Taiwan News, citing the Daily Apple.
Police also arrested Wu Hsuan, 21, a Taiwanese-Canadian man who works as a promoter for a Taipei nightclub, the Taiwan News reported. Wu allegedly colluded with Bent and Mayer in selling drugs at the club.
He admitted to police that he purchased two machetes for the men on Aug. 18 and stood lookout while they killed Ryan, the Taiwan News said. He was later released on about $10,000 bail, and his attorneys have since denied that he was present at the time of the killing.