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2 drug ring members caught with P120-M shabu, firearms

Two suspected members of a drug syndicate were charged yesterday before the Department of Justice (DoJ) after National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents seized from them R120 million worth of shabu and a cache of firearms in Manila over the weekend.

NBI National Capital Region (NBI-NCR) Regional Director Cesar Bacani identified the two arrested suspects as Edris Bolug Macalabo and Arvin Belleza Zapanta.

Macalabo and Zapanta were subjected to inquest proceedings before the DoJ over charges of violating Section 5 and 11 in relation to Section 26 of Republic Act 9165 (The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) and Section 28 of R.A. 10591 ( The Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act).

The two were arrested at 2 p.m. Saturday by NBI-NCR agents near the Manila North Harbor in Tondo.

The agents seized from the suspects 19.831 kilograms of shabu placed in 24 plastic bags.

NBI agents also seized from the suspects 10 pieces of .45-caliber pistol, 10 pieces of .38-caliber revolver, five 9mm submachine guns, 10 9mm magazine clips, 19 .45 caliber magazines, four suppressors for 9mm, and 30 9mm live ammunition.

The NBI said the suspects failed to provide documents and permits for the weapons and ammunitions.

The operation was conducted after the NBI-NCR received last March 29 an intelligence information that a drug syndicate headed by one alias Kim, also known as Boy Muslim, would be transporting several kilograms of shabu together with several firearms from Manila to Mindanao.

The NBI learned that the syndicate was using a Toyota Corolla with plate number WDJ-567 which was found parked in the area of Tondo.

After a two-day surveillance operations, the NBI accosted the two suspects as they were about to drive off with a car.

The NBI agents found the weapons and illegal drugs inside the car.

In the meantime, the NBI is checking with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to determine the real owner of the car. (Jeffrey G. Damicog)

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