CEBU City policemen on Friday morning arrested 4 suspected big-time drug traffickers in Central Visayas following a buy-bust operation which resulted in the confiscation of about 3.8 kilograms of shabu with a local market value of nearly P42 million, Police Regional Office 7 director, Chief Supt. Debold M. Sinas announced yesterday.
In a report to Philippine National Police chief Director General Oscar D. Albayalde, the official identified the arrested suspects as Michael Carabania and his cohorts Jemuel Enrile, Arnold Arquiza and Agustin Quijano.
He said the four were arrested during a sting which initially targeted Carabania in his apartment in Sambag 2, Bgy. Urgello, Cebu City at 9:30 a.m. Friday. The operation was conducted by the Cebu City Police Office under Senior Supt. Royina M. Garma in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Sinas said recovered during the operation were the huge volume of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine,’ P105,000 in different denominations, assorted drug paraphernalia and the boodle money topped by several marked bills which was paid to Carabania by an undercover officer.
The official said the three other suspects were arrested inside Carabania’s apartment.
“We have confiscated suspected high-quality shabu during that operation which targeted personalities identified by previously arrested street-level drug dealers in the city as the main source of the drugs seized from them,” Sinas said.
The official said they found out that Carabania was getting his drug supply from Enrile and repacking shabu with the help of his assistants Arquiza and Quijano before distributing them to their Cebu City market.
Carabania confessed that it was the 5th drug transaction he had handled: two last August, two in October and the 5th on the day they were arrested. The suspect also identified a certain ‘Doods’ as the man who will call him each time drugs will be delivered to him.
Sinas said Enrile is yet to cooperate with investigators except to say that one of their contacts is a detainee at the Mandaue City Jail.
He said the suspects could belong to another gang very much different from the drug ring operated by Jeffrey Cabaron who was arrested last November 18 during a sting which resulted in the recovery of 3.3 kilos of shabu.
Sinas said the two drug rings however are using the same modus operandi and were found to have made big transactions last August or a month after the discovery of multi-billion pesos worth of shabu smuggled thru the Manila International Container Port.
The arrest of the four came in the wake of separate anti-narcotics operations conducted by PRO7 agents last Wednesday which led in the killing of an armed drug dealer following a shootout in Talisay City in Cebu province and the arrest of five others.
Sinas said those drug busts likewise led in the confiscation of over P1 million worth of shabu.
He identified the slain suspect as Eugene Cabando alias ‘Amaw,’ a resident of Barangay San Roque in Talisay City.