Criminal gangs are known with their distinct way or technique or method (Modus Operandi) of robbing someone or a business. Some of them are fearless. They attack their victims as if they don't have any plans. While others have plans for an attack to a person or a business to ensure that none of them will be caught.
Thanks to CCTV cameras. Knowing the identities of the criminals become much easier. However, as time passes by, they become much more dangerous compared to those criminals in the previous years.
Anyway, the Ativan Gang is not only a mere urban legend which only sprouted from rumors of the people. They actually exist, and I don't know if they still until now. Like what I always say, not all urban legends are unreal. Some of them originated from real sources, or the story itself is real. However, they are altered because of the way how it circulated through the tongues of tsismosos and tsismosas.
They became an urban legend because there are e-mailed stories spreading in the cities where the Ativan Gang is the main subject. No one knows if these said stories really happen. One thing's for sure, the incident is told by a 'friend-of-a-friend', making it doubtful. These e-mails appear as a warning, but, for me, these are good warnings though. They make Filipinos aware of what's happening.
According to real sources, Ativan Gang is one of the oldest gangs in the Philippines. Their members invite or befriend unsuspecting foreigners (usually male tourists) to eat and drink (or should I say 'bond') with them. They are using the advantage of the known Filipino attitude -
hospitality. As they finally got you in their hands, they will put an ativan pill in your food or drink. As you ingested it, you'll feel dizzy and drowsy, then you find yourself asleep suddenly. The time you are unconscious, they will start robbing you - get your belongings and left you alone somewhere.
One of their tricky modus operandi is by attracting the victim using a beautiful Filipina, which is one of there member. As they were engaging in sexual activity, the girl will secretly put the drug in the drink to knock the tourist out of consciousness.
Because of them, there's this expression Filipinos used to say: Na-ATIVAN - meaning 'you are victimized by the Ativan gang' and/or 'you accidentally ingested an ativan pill'.
According to some sources, the gang started to operate in the late 70's or early 80's.
By the way, we've been talking about this Ativan Gang, but some of us don't have any idea what an Ativan pill is. So, what is it?
The last time I hear the word 'ativan' was in a news about a drug syndicate, who not only produce illegal substance but also smuggle prohibited drugs from overseas to the Philippines.
As of now, the DOH (Department of Health) and BFAD (Bureau of Food and Drugs) prohibited the selling and importing of the Ativan drug in the country. According to the same news, this drug is commonly used by criminals to rob or harm people. They might be refering to the Ativan Gang.
The generic name of the Ativan drug is lorazepam.
Ativan is in a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. It affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause anxiety. Often times, this drug is used to treat anxiety disorders.
Ativan should not be taken if you have allergies to eat. It may cause difficulty in breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. There are also serious and mild side-effects when you take this drug, namely:
Less serious side-effects:
confusion, depressed mood, thoughts of suicide or hurting yourself; hyperactivity, agitation, hostility; hallucinations; or feeling light-headed, fainting.
drowsiness, dizziness, tiredness; blurred vision; sleep problems (insomnia); muscle weakness, lack of balance or coordination; amnesia or forgetfulness, trouble concentrating; nausea, vomiting, constipation; appetite changes; or skin rash
That's the reason why the government forbade this drug in circulation. Aside of the reason that some people may abuse this drug, it is also dangerous.
[Taken from E-mail:]
Carlo waited for weeks for the showing of the latest James Bond movie. Since all of his friends were occupied that day, he decided to see the movie alone. Before he bought his ticket, he went to Burger King to get himself a burger and a coke. Like what he always does, he didn't put ice on his soda. He entered the movie house at 5:30 pm. While nibbling on his burger, he placed the cup of coke in the armrest.
This is only one of the e-mails circulating in the internet. No one knows if this really happened. I can't say this isn't true.
On February 2012, a Belgian national was victimized by two women who were allegely a member of Ativan gang. The Belgian woman was a 52-year-old veterinarian. On her trip to Malate Church, two women befriended her and invited to go to Tagaytay the next day. The two also asked her if she wanted to travel to Northern Philippines, and they said they are happy to accompany her. She replied yes.
On there trip to the north, the two also brought two more women and one man. They first went to Dagupan City, then Baguio, Banawe, and after three days, to Cabanatuan City.
On a hotel in Cabanatuan, where they stayed for the night, she woke up feeling very dizzy and her companions were gone. At first, she didn't realized what actually happened to her. She was still thinking why her companions just left her alone without telling her. Upon arrival to Manila, she finally realized that here pouch is empty - her 15,000 Euros are gone. She checked the pictures on her camera, but those were deleted. Luckily, she retrieved them and printed a copy. The authorities concluded that the six criminals are members of Ativan Gang.
The reason why I said that the warning is good, and somehow helpful, because it reminds us one thing:
Don't talk to strangers.That's a very simple reminder whenever you are in a place you are not familiar with.