A STRING of anti-narcotics operations conducted by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency this week resulted in the arrest of six ‘high-value targets’ and the seizure of over P45 million worth of shabu, PDEA chair, Director General Aaron N. Aquino said yesterday.
Three of the suspects identified as Hamodine Ibrahim and cousins Datunot Magelna and Eric Musa were arrested in a buy-bust operation inside a condominium unit in Barangay Moonwalk in Parañaque City around 8:30 p.m. Friday, the official said.
According to Aquino, members of the PDEA National Capital Region conducted the sting which led in the arrest of the three after they conspired to sell some six kilograms of shabu worth nearly P42 million to an undercover agent.
The sting was launched after the PDEA-NCR received an information regarding suspicious activities taking place inside the suspect’s unit specifically the presence of different persons who enter the area anytime of the day. It turned out that the suspects have been renting the place for the past five months only but have already attracted the attention of their co-tenants due to their highly-suspicious activities.
The PDEA-NCR operatives placed the area under surveillance and confirmed that indeed, strangers using different motor vehicles regularly visit the suspects apparently to make illegal drug transactions.
During the entrapment operation, a PDEA poseur managed to convince the suspects to sell him a kilo of shabu for P800,000. Shortly after the deal was consummated, officers raided the condominium unit and arrested the suspects who were believed to be members of a drug syndicate operating in the southern part of Metro Manila.
Recovered inside the trio’s unit were a total of six kilos of shabu worth nearly P42 million. Magelna confessed that they were only acting as ‘distributors’ of a big-time drug trafficker in Metro Manila. However, he did not name names.
The two other suspects denied any involvement in illegal drug activities.
The PDEA will also investigate the gang’s links with the group of Chinese national Liu Chao, who along with his two Filipino contacts yielded nearly P3.2 billion worth of shabu in Makati City and Las Piñas City the other week. The suspects were arrested by agents of the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group headed by Colonel Romeo M. Caramat Jr.
The other suspected ‘HVT’s were arrested amid the PDEA’s stepped-up effort to go after the so-called’ big fishes’ in the country’s illegal drug industry.
Aquino identified the three as Jeramy Bastatas alias ‘Jiji,’ a resident of Barangay Bulacao, Cebu City; Jeff Cabagbag, a barangay ‘kagawad’ in Bacnotan, La Union; and Joel Mariano of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.