POLICE Regional Office 8 director, Brigadier General Dionardo B. Carlos yesterday said they have intensified their operations to identify and arrest the ‘brains’ behind the foiled smuggling of some 88 kilograms of shabu worth nearly P600 million in Gandara, Samar on Thursday afternoon.
“We’re acting on some information supplied by the arrested suspects at the moment and have sought the assistance of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group in this massive follow-up operation,” said the Eastern Visayas police director.
Carlos said that they really made a ‘major catch’ last Thursday but the bigger challenge is to identify and capture the drug lords behind the foiled drug smuggling try. Based on initial information supplied by the suspects, the big drug shipment came from Cavite and Quezon City and was bound for Cebu.
On Thursday afternoon, PRO8 agents intercepted two cars bearing seven suspects and the huge volume of the so-called ‘poor man’s cocaine during an anti-narcotics operation along the Maharlika Highway in Gandara, Samar.
In a report to Philippine National Police Officer-in-Charge, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa, the official said that the drugs were found on board two Ormoc City-bound vehicles being driven by Cesar Uy, a 49-year old resident of Parklane Subdivision in General Trias, Cavite and Elbert Abella,57, a resident of Barangay Lutopan in Toledo City, Cebu.
The Eastern Visayas police director said the two suspects were arrested along with Steven Perez,37, a jeepney driver from 970 Puntod Alaska in Mambaling ,Cebu City; Leonard de los Reyes,33, a resident of Pardo, Cebu City; Jeralou Laborte,34, of no. 607-XC Villa Gonzalo, Bgy. Tejero, Cebu City; and a 14-year old out-of-school youth from Mambaling, Cebu City whose name was withheld.
The suspects’ vehicles: a grey Mitsubishi Lancer with plate no. XTE-453 and a black Nissan Sentra with plate no. ZLV-461 were impounded at the PRO8 Regional Drug Enforcement Unit headquarters in Tacloban City.
According to Carlos, members of the PRO8 RDEU led by Lt. Col. Harry Sucayre, with the help of operatives from the Gandara Municipal Police Station, the Samar Police Provincial Office , the Regional Special Operations Task Group 8, the PRO8 Regional Mobile Force Battalion and the PDEA intercepted the suspects along the Maharlika Highway in Bgy. Buñagan in Gandara municipality at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
“My men from the RDEU8 tailed the suspects due to an intelligence report that they were transporting illegal drugs to an unknown destination in Samar until they were intercepted at the police checkpoint along the Maharlika Highway,” said Carlos as he reported the biggest drug seizure they have made so far in the region this year.