Couple busted for selling dynamite-making materials

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A couple was arrested in Carles, Iloilo for allegedly selling materials used in dynamite fishing.

Police collared Ranie Carmen, 48, of Barangay Bancal, Carles, and his live-in partner Rhea Ramirez, 38, of Barangay Alas, Manda-on, Masbate, at the former’s abode on Jan. 21, 2020.

Members of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office-Provincial Special Operations Group (IPPO-PSOG) and Carles Police Station conducted the buy-bust operation against the couple for selling ammonium nitrate.

Ammonium nitrate, a chemical commonly used in agricultural fertilizers, is a highly explosive compound. It is frequently added to improve fertilizer’s nitrogen content.

But ammonium nitrate has a potentially lethal downside: If it comes into contact with an open flame or other ignition sources, it explodes violently.

Recovered during the operation were 20 blasting caps with detonating cord, 5 kilos of ammonium nitrate, P2,100 marked money, and P19,600 cash believed to be proceeds of the illegal trade.

Police Major Jonathan Pinuela, IPPO-PSOG chief, said that Carmen may have been selling materials for making dynamites used in illegal fishing but this was the first time that he was arrested.

Carmen allegedly sold ammonium nitrate at P350 per 85 grams. He allegedly got his supply from Masbate.

The couple is now detained and will be charged for violation of Republic Act 9516 or the law on illegal possession of explosives,