ILLEGAL drugs worth around P47 million were confiscated from an alleged drug courier of a big-time drug pusher by operatives of the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) and the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) during a buy-bust in Mandaue City on Friday night, Feb. 8.
Police officials considered it the biggest drug haul in Central Visayas since the nationwide campaign against illegal drugs began when President Duterte took office.
Charlie Duhaylungsod Fortuna, 29, a resident of the City of Naga, was arrested by police operatives at 9 p.m.
Aside from RSOG and RID, the operation was also jointly initiated by the Mandaue City Police Office and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Senior Supt. Remus Medina, RID 7 chief, said they had monitored Fortuna’s movements for six months before they initiated the operation against him.
On Friday, Medina said, one of his operatives posed as a customer and transacted with Fortuna at the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City to acquire 25 grams of shabu.
After the transaction, the suspect invited the operative to his house in Barangay Cubacub in Mandaue City after the operative offered to buy more.
What Fortuna didn’t know was the police had followed them.
Inside Fortuna’s house, the operative saw the seven large packs of suspected shabu that the suspect was supposed to sell.
He then identified himself as a policeman and arrested Fortuna.
Fortuna could not escape, as police officers suddenly barged into his house, Medina said.
Police recovered the seven packs of suspected shabu with an estimated market value of P47 million.
Medina said Fortuna’s house was used as a warehouse for illegal drugs from Mindanao.
Police Regional Office 7 Director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas said the illegal drugs were reportedly brought by boat from Manila to Ozamiz City before these were transported to Cebu for selling.
The seven kilos of shabu recovered from Fortuna were part of a shipment of at least 20 kilos of illegal drugs that had arrived in Cebu from Mindanao, he said.
Police also recovered a list of drug pushers and the number of kilos of illegal drugs they were to sell.
Sinas said they identified the personalities who picked up their drug supplies at the warehouse. He, however, refused to name them as they were the subject of a follow-up operation.
“For now, we have identified the owner of the warehouse. We’re still trying to identify the big-time suppliers and where they’re from,” Sinas said in Cebuano.
Fortuna, in a separate interview, admitted he started selling illegal drugs in 2017.
Aside from telling police who the owner of the house was, he also said his neighbor in the City of Naga got him into the business.
Police have yet to determine which drug group Fortuna and the house owner belong to.
Fortuna told reporters he was a drug courier and that he was paid P15,000 for each delivery. However, he said he didn’t know where the illegal drugs came from. (from AYB of Superbalita Cebu, JKV)