MANILA – Authorities arrested two suspected drug couriers and confiscated over PHP54 million worth of shabu in a buy-bust operation in Parañaque City, the Philippine National Police-Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) said on Sunday.
PNP-DEG director Brig. Gen. Ronald Lee said eight kilos of “high-grade” shabu with an estimated street value of PHP54.4 million were confiscated from Marlon Bayan, 32, a native of Camarines Norte; and, Guimalodin Ebrahim, 27, from Talitay town, Maguindanao during the operation on Saturday night.
The PNP-DEG agents also seized a black Ford Ranger with plate number NED-9942 reportedly being used by the two suspects in their illegal transactions.
“Our initial background revealed that the arrested persons were regular carriers of the shabu from Manila to Mindanao. We are now conducting follow-up operation on the source,” Lee said.
The suspects were arrested after handling the shabu to PDEG poseur buyers around 7 p.m.
PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas said the “successful” drug buy-bust was among the initial salvo of Case Operation Plan (COPLAN) Blood Stone launched by PDEG “purposely to break the backbone of this major drug distribution network.”
Sinas said the arrested suspects are part of a large group of drug traffickers composed mostly of natives from Mindanao based in southern Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, Lee said the PDEG has taken possession of some 35,343 tablets of highly regulated drugs that were smuggled into the country.
He said the Ninoy Aquino International Airport-Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG) turned over a parcel containing 26,170 tablets of diazepam (Valium) and 9,173 tablets of nitrazepam (Mogadon) worth PHP534,297 to PNP-DEG on Friday.
Both diazepam and nitrazepam are included in the 1971 United Nations Single Convention on Psychotropic Substances under Schedule IV. Both have addictive properties and characteristics and are considered as highly regulated drugs.
Lee said the seized tablets were unlawfully imported into the country without the required license to operate and certificate of product registration from Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and import permit from Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The drugs were discovered through random parcel profiling and K-9 sweeping operation at PAIR-PAGS Center, Parañaque City and were subsequently confiscated by virtue of a warrant of seizure and detention order by Bureau of Customs in compliance with Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), Lee said.
He said the abandoned parcel was shipped by “Muztaza and Brother” from Pakistan and consigned to International Medexchange Depot Inc. which is supposed to be located at Governor Camins Avenue, Zamboanga City. (PNA)