MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Police operatives seized P5.1 billion worth of crystal meth or shabu in a buy-bust operation in Marilao, Bulacan, on Thursday, June 4.
The Special Operations Unit 4 of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Drug Enforcement Group of the Bulacan Police Provincial Office, and the Marilao Municipal Police Station raided a warehouse at 2 Relay Street in Barangay Lias at around 3 pm.
In a statement to the media on Friday, June 5, Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) director Brigadier General Rhodel Sermonia said the raid yielded 756 kilograms of suspected shabu inside 63 tin can and cardboard boxes. Based on the Dangerous Drugs Board’s valuation, he said the estimated street value of the confiscated illegal drugs is P5.14 billion.
Police arrested Chinese suspect Yuwen Cai, and locals Angela Miole Tulio, and Maria Lyn Miole Tulio.
Sermonia said undercover police operatives used P1 million in peso bills and “boodle money” to buy a large amount of shabu from the suspects during the sting operation.
In a video footage uploaded on the PRO3 Facebook page, PNP chief General Archie Gamboa said the house had been placed under police surveillance before the buy-bust operation.
He said the suspects had been renting the house for 3 to 4 months.
Gamboa reiterated his call for owners of houses and apartments to be vigilant about the identities and actions of people renting their properties, as they may also be held liable if the buildings were being used for illegal activities.
He said the house was being used as a wholesale place for big-time illegal drug traders that sell shabu in various parts of Luzon and Visayas.
“Most probably, these (confiscated shabu) were importation,” Gamboa said.
Gamboa, who inspected the crime scene, told reporters the Chinese suspect could be the “trusted man” of a bigger drug personality.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday, June 5, congratulated the PNP and Gamboa during his televised speech aired on Friday, June 5.
“You have my snappy salute,” said Duterte. – with a report from Jun Malig/Rappler.com
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