Brigadier Gen. Arthur Cabalona, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao police director. (Photo courtesy of Police Regional Office – BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – Nineteen suspects were arrested while PHP17 million worth of shabu were seized during a five-day police operation in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), an official said Friday.

Brigadier Gen. Arthur Cabalona, BARMM police director, said many of those arrested during the June 12-16 series of operations were big-time drug peddlers and wanted persons.

“Seventeen of the 19 law offenders were involved in the illegal drug trade in the region,” Cabalona said in a statement.

More than 2,200 grams of shabu were seized in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi with an estimated cost of PHP17 million, he said.

“Most of these shabu were seized in the anti-drug stings in Lanao del Sur and Sulu provinces. Over PHP10 million worth of shabu were recovered in Maguing, Lanao del Sur,” he said.

Cabalona said more than 10 assorted loose firearms were also confiscated during the operations.

The BARMM police area of operation includes the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi; the cities of Cotabato, Marawi, and Lamitan; and the 63 villages in six towns of North Cotabato. (PNA)