Drugs, guns, explosives seized-A A +A
Sunday, July 27, 2014
THE Civil Security Unit of the Cebu Provincial Government intercepted yesterday a fishing boat carrying several illegal items off Kawit Point, in the seawater near the cities of Cebu and Talisay.
Two caliber .22 rifles, a toolbox full of dried marijuana leaves, seven blasting caps and drug paraphernalia were confiscated on board the fishing boat Hazel Wayne.
Authorities have yet to estimate how much the marijuana was worth.
Jake Perez, 29, of Ormoc City and Richard Layson, 30, of Lapu-Lapu City, were arrested following the confiscation of the illegal items.
The two were detained in the Cebu City Police Station 11 in Barangay Mambaling.
Personnel from the Navy and Coast Guard assisted in the operation after hearing reports of a fishing boat carrying contraband being seen in the area.
Capitol Chief Security Officer Roy Madrigal said they immediately coordinated with the Navy and Coast Guard after verifying the reports.
The fishing vessel, which was anchored 250 yards off Kawit Point, had suffered an engine malfunction, which forced its crew to stay in the area for three days.
“Mi-deny ning duha ka crew nga ila ang mga nakuha nga kontrabando (The two men both denied ownership of the contraband),” Madrigal told Sun.Star Cebu.
He added that the two chose not to say where they were going and where they had come from.
“Maglisod tag pangutana kay di gyud motubag (They refused to answer),” Madrigal said.
Last Friday, operatives from the Navy were already monitoring the fishing boat, which was painted blue and white.
An agent from the Navy’s intelligence unit, who refused to be named for security reasons, disclosed that another fishing boat was seen beside the FB Hazel Wayne.
“Most probably, they already transferred contraband to the other fishing boat seen last Friday,” he said.
However, Cebu City Bantay Dagat Task Force Chief Ranulfo Sebusa questioned the legitimacy of the joint operation, saying the provincial security group did not coordinate with them.
“The operation was in the seawaters of Cebu City. As a courtesy, they should have coordinated with us,” Sebusa told Sun.Star Cebu.
He, however, clarified that he was not against the operation nor protecting the boat’s crew, but merely concerned about standard operating procedures.
Madrigal, for his part, said national agencies like the Navy and Coast Guard had coordinated.
“We don’t have his (Sebusa’s) contact number and it was much better that he came during the operation, but how come he is questioning it?” Madrigal said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 28, 2014.