7 nabbed, drugs cache confiscated

PHILIPPINE Drug Enforcement Agency chair, Director General Aaron N. Aquino yesterday announced the arrest of seven persons including a female online casino dealer during an anti-narcotics operation inside a small hotel in Sta. Cuz, Manila which resulted in the confiscation of shabu and marijuana.

The official identified the arrested suspects as Julie Ann Sarmiento, an online casino dealer who was the main target of the sting and her companions Benjos Malit, Prince Fazhel Arganoza, Ma. Serty Balais, Dave Calilong, Kim Francis Balais and Rafael Mico Cortez.

Aquino said that the seven were arrested inside the hotel in Quiricada Hotel in Sta. Cruz by combined operatives of the PDEA Special Enforcement Service and the Manila Police District on Thursday last week.

Recovered during the buy-bust operation were two pieces of heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing around two grams of suspected shabu worth P13,600, six pieces of Ecstasy tablets, a plastic sachet containing about two grams of dried marijuana leaves, several drug paraphernalia, two mobile phones, and the buy-bust money.

All suspects who are now being held at the PDEA lock-up facility in Quezon City have been charged for violation of Section 5 (Sale of Dangerous Drugs), Section 11 (Possession of Dangerous Drugs), and Section 12 (Possession of Drug Paraphernalia), Article II of Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, said Aquino.