Brains behind P6B shabu smuggle attempt hunted

AGENTS of the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency have joined hands to track down the brains or the ‘puppet masters’ behind the smuggling of nearly P6 billion worth of shabu which they seized in separate anti-narcotics operations last week.

PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said he has ordered PNP-DEG director, Brigadier Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. to lead all police operations to identify and arrest the other top suspects behind the multi-billion drug smuggling which ended up in the arrest of three suspects and the killing of two others in a gunbattle with undercover officers last late afternoon Saturday.

He also assured that all police efforts are geared at ensuring a conviction or a ‘certainty of punishment’ for all arrested drug lords and other personalities in the country Dangerous Drugs Board chairman, Secretary Catalino S. Cuy said that most probably, major foreign drug syndicates in the country are trying to recoup the huge loss they suffered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and would most likely try to step-up their smuggling activities this time.

PDEA chair, Director General Wilkins M. Villanueva said they want to get the mastermind behind the huge drug shipment. “This is another bulk seizure where we want to find out the puppet masters, whether they are here or abroad,” the official said in referring to the personalities who financed the shipment and distribution of the recovered dangerous drugs in the country.

Villanueva again batted for another tough anti-wiretapping law which he said will help them track down all persons behind the importation and smuggling of shabu and other prohibited drugs in the country.

Gen. Gamboa commended Caramat and his men for leading the two highly-successful police anti-narcotics operations last week.

Around 4:30 p.m. last Saturday, two of the suspects were killed in a shootout with undercover officers in Parañaque City after they conspired to sell 36 kilograms of high-grade shabu worth P244.8 million to a poseur, Caramat  said

The official identified the slain suspects as Chinese national Jin Long Cai and his Filipino cohort Danny Apiga. Recovered from the two suspects were two loaded caliber .45 pistols, 36 large plastic packets each containing a kilo of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine’ and the P2 million worth of boodle money topped by several marked bills.

Caramat said they also impounded the suspect’s Kia sedan which they used in transporting the drugs. “All indications show that the two slain suspects are connected with the syndicate we smashed in Marilao, Bulacan last Thursday,” the official said.

The gunbattle erupted along the Uniwide Coastal Mall in Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard in Parañaque City 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Caramat said members of the PNP-DEG Special Operations Unit 4, the PDEA- National Capital Region and the Parañaque City Police Station were involved in the operation.