By Nef Luczon

DEEPER INFO. Lawyer Benjamin Gaspi, director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Northern Mindanao, prepares an information sheet during an interview with Cagayan de Oro City media on Monday (May 27, 2024). PDEA agents and police agents arrested a suspected illegal drug trader on May 26 and seized shabu amounting to PHP1.3 million. (PNA photo by Nef Luczon)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Law enforcers in Northern Mindanao did not discount the possibility of local drug networks operating in the region amid the arrest of a “newly identified personality” in a PHP1.3 million drug bust over the weekend.

Benjamin Gaspi, director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Northern Mindanao (PDEA-10), said there are “alpha” or “confidential informants” who have been monitoring drug trade in the region.

“It’s always a possibility (that such networks exist),” Gaspi, a lawyer, said in an interview on Monday.

The suspect, a 33-year-old woman, is a resident of Iligan City but was apprehended at a motel here by PDEA-10 and Police Regional Office (PRO-10) agents on Sunday.

The suspect was carrying shabu weighing 216 grams.

Gaspi said the suspect refused to disclose her contacts.

Meanwhile, PRO-10 recently carried out 48 operations across the region, leading to the arrest of 59 drug suspects and confiscation of 242.3 grams of shabu and 5.1 grams of marijuana, with an estimated total value of PHP1.6 million.

Brig. Gen. Ricardo Layug Jr., PRO-10 director, said the Simultaneous Anti-Crime Law Enforcement Operation was conducted from May 22 to 24. (PNA)