BUSTED COUPLE. Anti-narcotics agents list the illegal drugs seized from a couple suspected of selling prohibited drugs during an anti-drug operation in Barangay Gadongan, Marawi City, that resulted in the recovery of PHP6.9 million worth of shabu and two vehicles (inset) on Tuesday (Sept. 12, 2023). A day after, the Marawi police arrested two other drug suspects in a buy-bust and seized PHP689,000 worth of shabu in Barangay Bobongan. (Photo courtesy of Lanao del Sur PPO)

PARANG, Maguindanao Norte – A two-day anti-drug operation in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, led to the arrest of four "big-time” drug peddlers and the recovery of PHP7.5 million worth of shabu, police said Thursday.

A report by Col. Robert Daculan, Lanao del Sur police director, said a team composed of personnel from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Lanao Sur police, and Army-led Task Force Marawi collared Tuesday a couple during a buy-bust in Barangay Gadongan.

Arrested were Rahim Solayman Cayugan, 45, of Barangay Making, Parang, Maguindanao Norte, and his partner, Norain Gunda, 45, of Butig, Lanao Sur, after they allegedly sold to a poseur-buyer 25 grams of shabu amounting to PHP170,000 at 2:30 p.m. that day.

Following a thorough search, government operatives also recovered 1,000 grams of shabu worth PHP6.8 million, a pickup truck and a sports utility vehicle from the suspects.

“They showed no resistance,” Daculan said in his report to the Police Regional Office (PRO)-BARMM at Camp S.K. Pendatun here.

Daculan said two other suspects managed to elude arrest by abandoning their vehicle and fleeing on foot as the government forces swooped down on the Hayfa compound where the couple and their cohorts were staying.

Brig. Gen. Allan Nobleza, PRO-BARMM director, said those who escaped were Aripoden Kiram Ander, of Tubod, Lanao del Norte, and his female companion, Rania Musor Maca-angcos.

“Pursuit operations are ongoing,” he said.

The suspects will be charged with violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Meanwhile, Daculan also reported the success of another anti-drug operation at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday that led to the arrest of Sarip Mamangacao and Alihassan Mangacop, both of Barangay Bobongan, Marawi City.

“They were arrested right away after selling prohibited drugs to undercover agents,” Daculan said.

Seized from them were PHP689,000 worth of suspected shabu and the buy-bust money. (PNA)