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P54M shabu seized in Parañaque sting

Agents of the PNP Drug Enforcement Group under Brigadier General Ronald O. Lee inspect part of the eight kilograms of shabu worth P54.4 million seized from two ‘high-value targets’ in Paranaque City on Saturday evening.

AGENTS of the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-DEG) on Saturday evening smashed a Mindanao-based drug trafficking ring operating in Metro Manila following a buy-bust in Parañaque City which resulted in the seizure of eight kilograms of high-grade shabu worth P54.4 million, PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas announced yesterday.

Sinas said undercover officers of the PNP-DEG headed by Brigadier Gen. Ronald O. Lee arrested two suspected couriers of the Mindanao-Metro Manila drug connection identified as Marlon Bayan, a 32-year old resident of Purok 6, Barangay Man-Ogob, San Vicente, Camarines Norte; and Guimalodin Ebrahim,27, a resident of Talitay, Maguindanao.

“An initial background check showed that the suspects were acting as regular couriers of shabu from Metro Manila to Mindanao,” Sinas said as he congratulated the PNP-DEG men for their latest accomplishment in their crackdown against so-called ‘high-value drug targets (HVTs).’

The two suspects were arrested by undercover operatives of the PNP-DEG Special Operations Unit 8 during a sting near SM City Bicutan in Parañaque City 7 p.m. Saturday.

Recovered from the duo were around eight kilos of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ with a market value of P54,400,000 based on Dangerous Drugs Board present estimates on the price of prohibited drugs being sold per kilo in the market and the marked money paid to the two by the poseur.

A kilo of shabu regularly fetches a price of P6.8 million or around P6,800 per gram.

Lee said they also seized a black Ford Ranger with plate no. NED 9942 used by the suspects to transport the illegal drugs.

Lee reported to Sinas that the arrest of the two ‘HVTs’ followed weeks of surveillance necessary under the conduct of their Coplan: Bloodstone’ which targeted a large group of drug traffickers composed mostly of unscrupulous Mindanao residents based in the southern part of Metro Manila. The operation started early last November.

The two suspects are now being held at the PNP-DEG headquarters in Camp Crame. They are facing non-bailable charges for sale and possession of prohibited drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Apart from shabu traffickers, Sinas has also ordered the PNP-DEG and other police regional offices to launch a stepped-up crackdown on marijuana distributors from Cordillera to Metro Manila.

The PNP chief said the crackdown is needed to prevent the smuggling of marijuana into Metro Manila and other urban parts of the country.

Marijuana serves as an alternative to shabu amid the reported shortage in the supply of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ in the country.

The other Sunday, joint agents of the PNP-DEG and the National Capital Region Police Office under Brig. Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. seized 218 kilograms of high-grade marijuana bricks in Balintawak, Quezon City.

“Based on our investigation, the huge volume of marijuana came from Cordillera region and would be distributed in the National Capital Region. Right now, we’re assessing if the prohibited crops will be used by syndicates as an alternative for shabu since we have monitored an increase in the demand for marijuana in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon including Calabarzon and Mimaropa regions,” Sinas said.