BUSTED. A successful buy-bust operation resulted in the confiscation of over half a million pesos worth of shabu and the dismantling of a drug den at Jardeliza Subdivision, Barangay San Juan Zone 2, in this city’s Molo district on Monday (March 28, 2022). Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency provincial officer Johnny Boy Ybañez said Tuesday (March 29) the target of the operation was a home-based call center agent whose area of operations focused on Iloilo City and nearby municipalities. (Photo courtesy of PDEA Regional Office VI)

ILOILO CITY – Close to 80 grams of shabu valued at PHP544,000 were confiscated by operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Iloilo City Police Station 4 (ICPS-4) in a buy-bust operation in this city’s Molo district on Monday afternoon.

Johnny Boy Ybañez, PDEA officer in Iloilo Province, said in an interview on Tuesday, they conducted the buy-bust operation at Jardeliza Subdivision, Barangay San Juan Zone 2, after validation of a report from their confidential informant regarding the illegal activities of the new drug personality Jefferson D. Maala, 29, a resident of Barangay Dawis, Dingle.

“Maala and two others conspired to sell one sachet of suspected shabu to the poseur buyer,” Ybañez said.

The successful buy-bust operation led to the dismantling of the drug den and the arrest of Maala and his four other companions to include conspirators James Lorenz M. Emperado, 33, of Barangay Dalid, Calinog town; and Adrian Kim Y. Balasa, 19, of Barangay South San Jose, Molo; live-in partner Valerey L. Valencia, 28, of Barangay Sta. Cruz, Arevalo; and Sim Kyle M. Rivera, 25, of Barangay PHHC Block 17, Mandurriao .

Also confiscated were plastic bags, disposable lighters, rolled aluminum tin foils, improvised tooters, and the PHP7,500 buy-bust money.

Maala, a home-based call center agent, targets other call center agents as his clients, Ybañez added.

The suspect's areas of operations are Iloilo City and adjacent municipalities.

Ybañez said their successful drug-bust operation has a big impact since it would be harder to track down the supplies if the drugs would make it to the street.

“He sourced his drugs online which are sent through courier services. The payment is done through a remittance company,” he said.

The arrested suspects are now at the temporary jail facility of the PDEA regional office and will be charged with violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (PNA)