By Edwin Fernandez and Nef Luczon

BIG CATCH. PDEA-BARMM agents account for the illegal drugs and handgun seized from an alleged drug dealer in Poona Bayabao, Lanao del Sur, after his arrest during an entrapment on Tuesday (Feb. 6, 2024). Authorities seized from the suspect were PHP6.9-million worth of shabu, and a cal.45 pistol. (Photo courtesy of PDEA-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – Anti-narcotics operatives arrested a “big-time drug peddler” and seized PHP6.9 million worth of shabu during an entrapment in Poona Bayabao, Lanao del Sur, on Tuesday.

Director Gil Cesario Castro of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (PDEA-BARMM), identified the suspect as Lawa Abedin, 47, of Barangay Bugaran, Poona Bayabao town.

“The suspect is now at the PDEA-BARMM detention facility while awaiting inquest proceedings for violation of RA 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, and RA 10591 for illegal possession of a firearm,” Castro said in a statement Wednesday.

PDEA agents, backed by personnel from the Army’s 3rd Scout Ranger Battalion, pounced on Abedin after receiving the marked money and handing over the illegal drugs to an undercover agent during the 4 p.m. operation.

Castro said the suspect yielded a sachet containing 1,025 grams of shabu with a street value of PHP6.9 million, a cal.45 pistol, and identification cards from the Moro National Liberation Front.

Also on Tuesday, operatives from the Lanao del Sur Police Provincial Office (LSPPO) seized some PHP1.3 million worth of shabu in Marawi City.

Col. Robert Daculan, police provincial director, said the LSPPO personnel, backed by military units, arrested two suspects and confiscated some 200 grams of “shabu.”

The suspects, whose identity was not divulged pending a follow-up operation, are now detained at the Marawi jail facility. (PNA)