P20-M shabu seized in CDO

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY MindaNews/22 November)–The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA 10) scored big with the interception of a delivery of 1.5 kilos of alleged methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) with an estimated street value of Php 20 million.

In an interview Tuesday, PDEA 10 regional director Roberto S. Opeña said they arrested Sammy M. Yusop, a resident of Muricay, Pagadian City while the latter was trying to transfer a package to his gray Toyota Hiace with plate number KEE-331 at about 9pm, Monday.

The suspected shabu weighed about 1.5 kilos and was placed inside two plastic sealable cellophane packets that in turn were taped on the picture tube of a 20-inch Pensonic TV set.

Opeña said the “conservative estimated street value of shabu is from Php10 to Php15 million per kilo.”

He also said that days before they already received a tip from their informant in Manila that a package containing 1.5 kilos of shabu was en route via a parcel forwarding company to this city. He requested not to name the forwarding company so as not to jeopardize their ongoing investigation.

“What we employed was a controlled delivery operation. Sa Manila pa, meron ng nag tip sa amin na may pinapadala dito na shabu. The purpose of the operation was to apprehend the consignee of the parcel,” he said.

He said PDEA agents dressed as employees of the parcel service company anticipating the arrival of Yusop. They waited until Yusop had signed to acknowledge receipt of the parcel and carried it to his vehicle.

“We did not want any unnecessary commotion so we opted to apprehend him at the parking lot where his vehicle was. We even thought he would not go through with it since he signed off the parcel at the last minute when the forwarding company was about to close shop,” said Opeña.

Opeña said that during the interrogation Yusop told him the shabu shipment was intended for Pagadian and that he claimed to be the biggest supplier in that city.

But Opeña believed the drug was really for retail distribution in Bukidnon, Marawi and this city, adding, “Why would he ship it here in Cagayan de Oro when its risk of getting caught is higher?”

Yusop is currently detained at the PDEA 10 holding facility for booking and documentation while the seized drug evidence were forwarded to the Philippine National Police Crime Laboratory 10 for “qualitative and quantitative examination.”

Opeña, who assumed as regional director of PDEA 10 in July this year, claimed the drug bust was the biggest the region has done in recent years.

“We will request for the shipping records to track how many other transport of the kind for the same consignee. We have started the process of filing a drug trafficking case against Yusop. We want the case airtight,” he said. (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)