GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 November) — Anti-drug operatives arrested here early Monday a Pakistani national and his Filipino wife who were tagged as drug financiers and reportedly connected to a major illegal drug network operating in parts of Region 12.
Gil Cesario Castro, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Region 12 director, identified the suspects as Shahzad Khan alias Salman Khan, 35, and wife Anjelie Mawani Osama, 30, who were listed as “high-value” targets.
He said the couple was nabbed during simultaneous search operations at their two houses in Purok Malakas, Barangay San Isidro at past 2 a.m.
Recovered during the raids, which were based on two search warrants, were about 10 grams of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu with an estimated market value of P50,000, a gray ledger containing several bank deposit slips and assorted documents detailing supposed drug transactions, he said.
Citing intelligence reports, Castro said the couple had been allegedly financing illegal drug-related activities in the city and the neighboring areas.
He said the two were reportedly part of the El Patron Drug Group, which is considered as among the biggest drug groups in the area.
“This is a major drug network connected to groups operating in other regions. Its sources are traced from Northern Mindanao and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao,” he said.
The arrest of the couple came a day after three other alleged members of the El Patron Drug Group were nabbed in separate operations in nearby Maasim town in Sarangani Province.
PDEA-12 agents arrested suspects Arman Bada, 47, and wife Lovely, 37, in a search operation at their home in Poblacion, Maasim at 2:54 a.m. Sunday.
Seized from their possession were about 30 grams of suspected shabu worth around P150,000 and three bank passbooks.
At around 3:55 a.m., another alleged drug group member identified as Zaldy Ong, 58, was nabbed in a separate search operation at his home in Poblacion, Maasim.
He reportedly yielded about 11 grams of suspected shabu with an estimated market value of P55,000.
Castro said they had long been monitoring the movements of the suspects, who supposedly peddled shabu to fishermen and seafarers.
“It was supposed to be a high-charge operation in the high seas because their clients are the seafarers and fishermen and they are widely involved in smuggling. But it was called off so we opted for search warrants,” he said.
He added that the five suspects, who are currently detained at the PDEA-12 headquarters here, would be charged with violation of Section 11 or possession of dangerous drugs under Article II of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (MindaNews)