THE global positioning system (GPS) installed in a car allegedly stolen in Manila enabled law enforcement authorities to intercept the vehicle in Bukidnon and seize 2.225 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, worth some P20 million last Tuesday, December 27.
Highway Patrol Group (HPG)-Northern Mindanao Chief Gabriel Lopez said the owner of the Toyota Altis the suspects rented had a built-in GPS program that gave away the location of the carnapped vehicle.
He said the car was rented out to the suspects on December 12 to 19, but when it was not returned after the contract expired, the owner reported it missing to the HPG national headquarters.
Through the GPS, the car’s owner was able to track it as it made its way to Mindanao by way of Bicol in Southern Luzon, Eastern Visayas, and the Caraga Region.
Lopez said they were alerted by the HPG-national office when the vehicle was on its way to Cagayan de Oro around 12 noon on December 27.
Checkpoints were then put up along the national highway leading to the city and in Bukidnon.
An hour later, joint team of HPG, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the Impasugong police intercepted the car at Impalutao village, Impasugong town.
Lopez said law enforcers conducted a search on the car to determine if it was the same unit that was reported stolen and it was where the suspected shabu was discovered placed in a bag along with the various firearms and ammunitions in the trunk.
According to the police, the narcotics has an estimated street value of P20 million.
Arrested on the spot by the police were Nahar Apam, Sohud Salik, Tho Tha, and Johari Akmad, all from Maguindanao province.
He said the vehicle was on its way to Cotabato when it was flagged down.
Lopez said the suspects didn’t put up a fight when intercepted by the police.
Police said the suspects were presented to the provincial prosecutor’s office in Bukidnon on Wednesday.
The suspects are presently detained at the CIDG-Bukidnon headquarters awaiting a commitment order to transfer them to the provincial jail.
In a separate interview, Bukidnon Police spokesperson Jiselle Longakit said they are still investigating if the suspects are members of a drug syndicate operating in Mindanao.