GENERAL SANTOS CITY -- Anti-drug operatives arrested an acting municipal treasurer in Sultan Kudarat province and her husband who were tagged as members of an emerging drug group in the area in an operation over the weekend in a subdivision here.

Gil Cesario Castro, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Region 12 director, identified the suspects as Jojo Balanay Nadar, 42, and wife Joy Salva Nadar, 46, both residents of Palimbang town in Sultan Kudarat.

He said Joy Nadar, identified as a high value drug target, was the acting municipal treasurer of Palimbang.

The couple was listed as members of the SOGIS Drug Group. They were nabbed at around 8:45 p.m. Saturday at a house in Malesido Subdivision, Barangay San Isidro here, Castro said.

The official said the operation, which was backed by elements from the Army-led Joint Task Force GenSan spearheaded by Col. Adonis Bajao, was conducted simultaneously in three “lavish houses” owned by the couple.

Castro said they recovered during the raids about 50 grams of suspected metamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu worth around P250,000, a rifle grenade, a caliber .40 ammunition, a caliber .50 ammunition, two bags containing several bank checks and disbursement vouchers, a black pouch containing three 5.56mm ammunition and a metallic gray Toyota Fortuner sports utility vehicle with license plate AO 1529.

He said they also found various documents that involved cash disbursements of the municipal government of Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat.

Citing their investigation, the official said the couple was allegedly involved directly in the operations of the SOGIS Drug Group, which operates in Sultan Kudarat province and the neighboring areas.

The suspects were subjected to a series of surveillance operations prior to the search operation on Saturday night.

“The subjects were living lavishly, having an extravagant lifestyle that exudes their means because they derive most of their income through drug dealings and illegal disbursement of public funds,” Castro said in a statement Monday.

He added that the suspects, who are detained at the PDEA-12 headquarters here, would be charged for violation of Section 11 or possession of dangerous drugs, under Article II of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs act of 2002, and RA 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act.(PNA)