OPERATIVES of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Ninoy Aquino Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Group (NAIA-IADITG) along with the Nueva Ecija police arrested two Chinese nationals and seized some 240 kilos of shabu with an estimated street value of over P1.6 billion in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, on Friday night.
In his report to Police Regional Office 3 director Brig. Gen. Valeriano T. De Leon, provincial police chief Col. Marvin Joe C. Saro said the two suspects were arrested during a “controlled delivery” type of operation conducted at the Jollibee-Diversion Road area in Bgy. Sumacab Sur at 11 p.m.
The arrested Chinese nationals were identified as Jayson Tan and James Ong. They allegedly arrived from the airport and was followed by Customs authorities until their arrest was made here.
“Nasundan ng Customs sa airport, dito na sila na-interdict. Ililipat sana sa ibang sasakyan ang droga dito sa L300 van,” said Saro, in a text message to People’s Tonight yesterday.
Saro added the successful operation was conducted by the NAIA-IADITG composed of operatives from the PDEA RO-NCR RSET 1 & 2, PDEA RO III, Bureau of Customs, MIAA, AVSECOM, AFP CITF NOAH ISAFP, NICA, and the Cabanatuan and the PIB-NEPPO-PDEU.
The latest drug haul is believed the biggest single drug bust ever conducted in Cabanatuan City by the authorities.
Also seized were the suspects’ four mobile phones, a gray Honda City sedan with conduction sticker EI-N497 and a white Mitsubishi L300 van (ABB-2535).
Saro said the arrested suspects are now under the custody of the PDEA and will be slapped with charges for violation of Section 4 of Republic Act 9165 (importation of dangerous drugs and/or controlled precursors and essential chemicals).
PDEA chair, Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva said they are still conducting follow-up operations to identify and arrest the other partners of Tan and Ong.
Tan and Ong were collared after they went to claim the 240 kilograms of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ along Sumacap Sur in Cabanatuan City.
The operation was launched after Bureau of Customs examiners discovered the presence of the mysterious cargoes declared as ‘work bench tables’ from Selangor, Malaysia shortly after they arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and taken to the PAL-PSI Warehouse on Saturday last week.
Members of the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group subjected the cargo to an x-ray scanning and 100 percent physical examination leading to the discovery of the tea bags containing some 240 kilos of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ valued at P1.6 billion.
Records showed that the suspicious cargo declared as work bench tables was shipped to Manila by a certain Ywlee 87 Trading of Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, and consigned to one “Allejam International Trading” of Manila.
The heavily-wrapped packages were very similar to the huge volume of shabu which have been seized by officers of the PDEA and the Philippine National Police over the past few years.
The suspects and the recovered pieces of drug evidence were turned over to the PDEA for further investigation. Villaneuva said they are conducting a major case-buildup against the persons behind the large-scale importation of the drugs, the 42nd illegal drug shipment intercepted at the NAIA so far this year.
The two Chinese nationals will be facing non-bailable charges for importation of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to Section 1401 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act,” Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said. by ALFRED DALIZON