P925K worth of ‘shabu’ seized in Iloilo stings

Three persons were arrested in a buy-bust operation at 1:14 p.m. on July 3 in Barangay Pani-an, Balasan which led to the recovery of P528,000 worth of suspected crystal meth or shabu. (Balasan MPS photos)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

Recent police anti-narcotics operations in Iloilo province resulted in the confiscation of nearly P1 million worth of illegal drugs. The twin drug stings led to the arrest of four young men.

The suspects were identified as BJ Bañes, 19, of Purok 2, Barangay Pani-an, Balasan, Iloilo; James Lopez, 22, of Barangay Balantian, Balasan; Carlo Marcelino, 21, of Barangay Poblacion Norte, Balasan; and Mark dela Cruz, 25, of Barangay Bulaqueña, Estancia.

Bañes, Lopez, and Marcelino were arrested in a buy-bust operation at 1:14 p.m. on July 3 in Barangay Pani-an, Balasan.

Bañes, the main target of the operation, allegedly handed a sachet of suspected shabu to a police poseur buyer for P500.

Members of Balasan Municipal Police Station seized 20 more sachets of suspected shabu from Bañes, along with P1,665 in cash and a black pouch.

Captain Renzo Martinez, Balasan police chief, said the seized drugs weighed around 78.2 grams with a standard drug price of P528,000.

Martinez suggested that Bañes and his group might have started their drug involvement when they were minors.

The suspects, not previously known as drug surrenderers, primarily dealt with clients from Balasan and neighboring towns.

Meanwhile, dela Cruz was arrested around 9:16 a.m. on July 4 in Barangay Daan-Banwa, Estancia.

Members of Estancia Municipal Police Station apprehended the suspect after he sold a sachet of suspected shabu for P2,100.

Police recovered eight more sachets and some non-drug items from his possession.

The seized drugs weighed around 58.49 grams, valued at P397,732.

The four suspects are now detained and will be charged with violating Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).

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