8 arrested in Maguindanao drug bust

COTABATO CITY — Joint elements of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-ARMM), police and the military on Friday busted in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao remnants of a drug syndicate operating in Central Mindanao and arrested eight of its members, officials said Saturday.

Director Juvenal Azuren of PDEA-ARMM said anti-narcotics agents, backed by personnel from Sultan Kudarat town police office and troops from 37th Infantry Battalion, served the warrants issued by RTC-13 Executive Judge Bansawain Ibrahim against eight men in Crossing Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguidnanao at around 5:30 p.m. Friday.

“The suspects did not resist arrest, no single shot was fired,” Azuren told reporters.

Arrested were Almusid Karim alias Almursid Dub Karim, 37 years old, male; Ibrahim Dub Karim alias Ibrahim D. Tang/Thang/Tang, male, 36; Cortes K. Esmael alias Esmael B. Cortes Karim/ Mike Karim, 47, male; Madd-Ryu Karim alias Ahmadb Dub Karim/Maddz, 32, male; Jimmy Gomez alias Tho/Nanding Ampuan Mohalim, 32, male; Fatima Empao Karim, 26, female; Reniel Solaiman Ampuan, 35, male and Nasser Usop Makalinggi, 18, male.

They all belonged to Bua drug syndicate headed by Marco Bua who was arrested in 2015.

However, Soljah Karim, Senting Gomez and his son Gomez alias Johari Solaiman Ampuan, the subjects of the arrest order were not present during the implementation of search warrants.

Confiscated during the joint law enforcement efforts were 41 pieces heat-sealed transparent plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance believed to be methamphetamine Hydrochloride known as “shabu” weighing more or less 35.04 grams. It has an estimated market value of PHP177,000.

Also seized were two .45 caliber pistol (Colt MK IV Series 80) and ammunition, drug paraphernalia, cellular phones, PHP3,100 cash and identification cards.

Cases for violation of RA 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) and RA 10591 (Illegal Possession of Firearms and Explosives) are being prepared against the suspects.

They are now detained at PDEA-ARMM jail facility in Cotabato City.

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