Illegal drug dealers took advantage of Covid-19 lockdown-PDEA

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DAVAO CITY — Illegal drug trade in the region is never affected by the coronavirus pandemic, in fact, they took advantage of the situation to continue their illegal activities, said Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director Antonio Rivera.

Truth to that is the recent arrest of Keenmark Bocado, 26, resident of R. Castillo St., Agdao, this city, who was in possession of P960,000 worth of ‘shabu’ for distribution.

Antonio Rivera, PDEA Xi regional director in an interview with Newsline revealed, “Truth is they used the coronavirus situation to expand their business because the police and other law enforcement agencies helped in the implementation of the lockdown. On our part, we loosen the operation because our detention facility was full, and the last week they were able to move because the focus was not on their operations.”

Rivera said the restrained movement of people did not deter illegal drugs dealer to continue their trade because they had supplies on their hands prior to the lockdown, and, while the authorities were busy with Covid-19 monitoring, they got the chance to move around their consumers mostly with Davao area.

In the case of Bocado, Rivera emphasized, his arrest was a product of surveillance and constant monitoring “When he gets the chance to connect with him, our asset was able to establish contact with him, which resulted in his arrest.”

Last Saturday, June 20 at about 2:30 in the afternoon, PDEA arrested Bocado in a buy-bust operation along Mac Arthur Highway in Matina, just when he handed 25grams of meth to an asset who pretended as a buyer. Also taken from his possession were seven sachets which weigh 39 grams, Rivera revealed.

The PDEA suspect that Bocado got one kilo of meth but was able to distribute part of it before the buy-bust was held.

Last March, during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) the PDEA arrested another suspect with more than P300,000 worth of Shabu.

“The supply is from Lanao del Sur and some areas of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM),” he revealed.

“The market for illegal drugs is still alive, though major markets have been crippled,” he added.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline

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