ANTI-NARCOTICS agents have arrested a Muslim church leader and seized nearly P300,000 worth of illegal drugs early Tuesday, April 24in a drug raid in Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City.
Armed with a search warrant, agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA)-Northern Mindanao, raided the house of religious leader Hadji Rasol Noraida Sarip.
Confiscated in the ensuing search were nine differently sized sachets of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride, known as “shabu,” weighing a total of around 35 grams.
Operatives also confiscated a 9mm pistol and several bullets.
"Church leader daw siya sa Mosque, dili ko ka-validate kung Imam siya (I can't say if he's an Imam but he said he’s a Church leader in a mosque in Macabalan)," PDEA-Northern Mindanao agent Ben Calibre said.
Calibre said numerous reports have reached their office since last year that the suspect is involved in illegal drug trade.
He said some drug personalities previously arrested in various anti-illegal drug operations tagged Sarip as one of their sources of crystal meth.
Calibre said the suspect is a big-time distributor of prohibited drugs to street pushers not only in the village but in other areas in the city and Misamis Oriental.
"Nag-corroborate sa ubang information nga ang mga small time players sa iya gakuha og item (It corroborate to other information that small time players are getting the item from him)," Calibre said.
Authorities then conducted series of surveillance and test buys until it yielded positive result prompting them to apply for search warrant from a local court here.
The PDEA-Northern Mindanao is also investigating the possible drug links of the suspect, including his sources and suppliers.
Suspect will face drug charges and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.