BUSTED. Police officers arrest four people (standing, right) as they dismantled a drug den in an anti-drug operation in Barangay Lilod-Maguing, Maguing, Lanao del Sur on Friday (Nov. 25, 2022). The anti-drug operation was launched after a series of surveillance on the drug den. (Photo courtesy of Area Police Command-Western Mindanao)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Authorities have arrested four people as they dismantled a drug den in the province of Lanao del Sur, a police official said Saturday.

Col. Richard Verceles, operations chief of the Area Police Command - Western Mindanao, said the drug den was dismantled by policemen in an anti-drug operation in Barangay Lilod-Maguing, Maguing, Lanao del Sur at about 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Verceles identified the four apprehended suspects as Esmail Mipangkat, 28; Mupte Marohom, 23; Ali Tomao, 43; and Jamil Arobinto, 40.

He said the Lanao del Sur provincial drug enforcement unit led by Lt. Col. Thomas Pantaleon Jr., backed by other police units, launched the anti-drug operation after a series of surveillance on the drug den.

Law enforcers seized 25 grams of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of PHP170,000, and assorted illegal drug paraphernalia.

Verceles added that the suspects were placed under the custody of Maguing’s municipal police while charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 would be filed against them.

Meanwhile, a businessman was arrested in a search warrant operation for drug violation in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay province.

Col. Eduard Mallo, Zamboanga Sibugay police director, said Mael Lucamura, 36, was arrested in Purok 1, Barangay La Fortuna, Payao at about 11:55 a.m. on Friday.

Mallo said seized from Lucamura were 0.176 grams of suspected shabu packed in four heat-sealed plastic sachets with an estimated street value of PHP1,196.

He said Lucamura was detained while charges for violation of RA 9165 would be filed against the businessman. (PNA)