Lawmen arrested seven persons, including a big-time drug trafficker operating in Manila, and seized from them more than three kilos of shabu valued at P15 million during a buy-bust operation in Binondo on Tuesday.
The latest operation brings to 3,762 the total number of suspected drug traffickers arrested in Manila during the continuing campaign against illegal drug dealing launched by the Manila Police District and the National Capital Region Police Office. NCR-CIDG chief Ronald Lee led the buy-bust in Binondo.
Mayor Joseph Estrada presented the seven suspects to the media and identified one of them—Karen Mae Tan, 37, as a notorious drug pusher who used a flower shop as front for her illegal activities.
Three of the suspects were also identified as Bernadette Tagle, 43; Aina Marquez, 28, and Arman Okba, 41.
Estrada confronted the suspects and aired a stern warning against drug pushers, dealers and traffickers not to use any part of Manila in their illegal activities.
“We will not tolerate any illegal activity here in Manila. Even if you are a police officer, barangay official or anyone, if you are involved, you are going to jail,” said Estrada, as he confronted the suspects.
Estrada said joint operatives of the MPD and NCR Criminal Investigation and Detection Group conducted the drug sting around 4:45 p.m. at the Epitome Flower Shop situated at Room 809-B of the Pacific Centre Building.
Police conducted a week-long surveillance operation against the suspects following information that the flower shop is being used as front in the illegal activity.
“The flower shop has business permit but it does not have flowers in its display areas,” said Estrada.
The suspects are now detained at the MPD detention center and were charged with violation of the anti-dangerous drug act before the Manila Prosecutors Office.
Aside from arresting drug traffickers and persons wanted for murder, the MPD also able to neutralize several groups responsible for car thefts, kidnap for ransom, and armed-robbery incidents in the city.
Estrada earlier commended MPD director Rolando Nana and his men for the neutralization of big-time criminal gangs like Burdado Carnap Group, Balweg/Navarro Drug Group, Sanaya Drug Syndicate, Dominguez Robbery Group, Magbutay Robbery Group, Burgos Robbery Group, Macalanda Robbery Group, Toper Group, and Guiroy Robbery Group.
He said “There would be no economic growth without peace and order. Giving the policemen their due wages and allowances would encourage them to perform better.”
During the MPD’s 115th anniversary celebration last month, Estrada noted that his administration has poured in at least P136 million in funds for the allowance and other financial needs of the policemen, and P150 million for the procurement of equipment.