‘Ecstasy’ worth P3M seized in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 September) — Anti-drug operatives seized around P3 million worth of suspected “ecstasy” pills and arrested a suspected drug pusher in a buy-bust operation near a shopping mall here on Monday night.

Agent Vince Lachica, spokesperson of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Region 12, said Tuesday they recovered the narcotic pills after entrapping a tricycle driver who allegedly doubled as a drug pusher in an operation near the Gaisano Mall, along the national highway in Barangay Lagao at around 8:45 p.m. Monday.

He said they nabbed suspect Sonny Molle, 32, after allegedly selling some “ecstasy” tablets along with another companion to a PDEA agent who posed as buyer.

Molle’s companion, who was initially identified as a certain Bombi dela Cruz, was able to escape and is now the subject of manhunt operations, he said.

Lachica said they found in Molle’s possession a total of 2,355 pieces of “ecstasy” pills that were packed in two plastic bags.

He said the seized “ecstasy” tablets were all in beige color and have “x-files” markings on one side.

The seized item was included in their catalogue of narcotic pills and has a reported street value of P1,000 to P1,500 each, he said.

“This is the first time for us to recover this kind of illegal drug here in Region 12,” he told MindaNews in a telephone interview.

Prior to the buy-bust operation, Lachica said they received a tip from one of their confidential agents regarding Molle’s illegal activities.

He said they immediately conducted a test-buy and sent the purchased pills to the PDEA laboratory in Davao City for confirmatory testing.
“The test results initially confirmed that they were positive of 4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine or MDMA so we decided to launch the buy-bust operation,” he said.

MDMA is the main ingredient of “ecstasy,” which is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.

Marketed as a sex drug, “ecstasy” reportedly produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception.

Lachica said they are still determining the origin of the recovered illegal drugs, which they sent to the PDEA laboratory in Davao City on Tuesday morning for confirmatory tests.

But he said Molle, who is a resident of Purok Masagana in Barangay San Isidro here, claimed that he picked them up from an undisclosed source based in Davao City around noon last Monday.

The suspect claimed that he was just asked by his neighbor, Bombi dela Cruz, to get the items in Davao City and bring them to this city in exchange for a P2,000 payment.

Lachica said the results of their initial investigation showed that the seized “ecstasy” pills could have originated from a foreign source and entered the country either by sea or air cargo.

“These were reportedly intended for shipment to Boracay but the owner tried to sell them first here,” he added. (MindaNews)