MANILA - A 49-year-old man considered by Philippine anti-narcotics enforcers as a major local supplier of imported methamphetamine, or shabu, under the Golden Triangle drug syndicate, was among 3 arrested in back-to-back buy-busts in Parañaque City on Monday afternoon.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) confiscated 24 kilos or an estimated P163.2-million worth of shabu from the target, alias "Mang", his 27-year-old driver, and alleged accomplice "Marvi".
"Marvi," 50, was carrying 4 kilos of shabu when she was arrested separately.
Both operations, conducted with the help of military and police intelligence offocers, were carried out on Pacific Avenue in Tambo and Don Galo.
The drugs were found inside packets labeled for Chinese tea, a common packaging trait of items recovered in busts of foreign-sourced shabu.
"Mang", who was riding a coaster van during the transaction, is a "subhead" of the Golden Triangle drug syndicate that operates in Southeast Asia, said PDEA National Capital Region director Adrian Alvariño.
Mang's group, considered high-value targets, allegedly supplies drugs by bulk to Metro Manila, surrounding provinces, and even Cebu in Central Philippines, Alvariño said.
"Nakarating din ito sa Visayas kasi malaking grupo ito. 'Di po ito nagbibigay ng paisa-isang kilo, 50 grams--kilo-kilo po ang dini-dispose ng grupo na ito," he said.
(They have even reached up to the Visayas because they are a big group. They don't dispose of just one kilo or less of shabu, but rather kilos upon kilos)
Alvariño added the suspect owns a large resort in the province, as well as at least 5 condominium units and apartments supposedly used to stash the drugs.
Meanwhile, alias "Marvi" is said to be the accomplice of another woman who was caught by PDEA in Makati last Wednesday with P27-million worth of shabu also placed in tea packets.
Both "Marvi" and "Mang" live in Pasay City.
The 3 suspects will be charged with violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
Alvariño said they are continuing to investigate the group's other suppliers and distributors.
The Chinese-run Golden Triangle syndicate, named after the border area between Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, has been tagged by the PDEA as the main source of drugs coming into the Philippines.