Koronadal businessman nabbed in anti-illegal drugs raid

Mick Basa

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Koronadal businessman nabbed in anti-illegal drugs raid
Ruel 'Balong' Espinosa is allegedly a member of El Patron Drug Group in South Cotabato

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A businessman with alleged links to South Cotabato’s illegal drugs ring was arrested Sunday, September 10, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region XII said.

Arrested was Ruel “Balong” Espinosa, a businessman “that belongs to a high level of drug dealer,” PDEA Soccsksargen Director Gil Cesario Castro said in a statement.

Espinosa was arrested at 6:15 am of September 10 through a joint search operations by PDEA, General Santos Police, and the Special Action Force.

“The suspect is a businessman that uses his business as conduit of drug trade,” said Castro.

Espinosa, who is also known as “Balong,” was caught with P500,000 worth of alleged shabu in his possesion. Also found were a rifle grenade, a Para-Ordnance caliber 45, and a cap caliber 45 magazine with 12 rounds of live ammunitions.

The search was conducted in Sto Nino village, Koronadal City.

Castro claimed Espinosa was a member of El Patron Drug Group in South Cotabato, and that there were more “drug lords” operating in the region.

“In the coming days we will escalate the drug war with focus on drug lords,” Castro said.

Authorities are filing cases against Espinosa for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.

Last week, PDEA also arrested a Maguindanao village official in a drug-related raid in Davao City. – Rappler.com

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