DRUG BUST. An operative of the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit in Western Visayas (RPDEU-6) conducts an inventory of the suspected shabu worth PHP750,000 seized from Romeo Salem in Barangay Estefania, Bacolod City on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 27, 2020). Salem, 36, is the No. 10 high-value individual in the list of RPDEU-6. (Photo courtesy of Bacolod City Police Office)

BACOLOD CITY – One of the top drug personalities in Western Visayas was arrested in a buy-bust conducted by regional police operatives in Barangay Estefania here on Sunday afternoon.

The suspect was identified as Romeo Salem, 36, the No. 10 high-value individual (HVI) in the list of the Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU-6).

A report of the RPDEU-6 Team 3 said the suspect negotiated with a poseur-buyer in an area called Bangga Scala at around 3:15 p.m., leading to his arrest.

Salem yielded five sachets of suspected shabu placed in a sealed brown envelope found inside a black sling bag. The prohibited substance weighed about 75 grams with an estimated value of PHP750,000.

Operatives also seized a Nokia mobile phone and PHP2,000 cash from the suspect, who is now detained at Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) Station 4.

Lt. Col. Ariel Pico, public information officer of BCPO, said on Monday that the operation was mainly carried out by the team of the Iloilo City-based RPDEU-6, who were provided perimeter security by personnel of Bacolod City Mobile Force Company and Police Station 4.

Pico added that for now, the movement of the BCPO drug enforcement teams has been limited by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic as the city has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine until Sept. 30 due to rising local transmission.

Policemen also face a high risk of contracting the virus, he said.

Earlier this month, operatives of RPDEU-6 also arrested 22-year-old drug suspect Erwin Agsam in a buy-bust in his rented house at a subdivision in Barangay Bata here.

Agsam yielded some 40 grams of shabu with an estimated street value of PHP272,000. (PNA)