MANILA (Updated) -- Police arrested five suspected drug traders, including three Chinese nationals, and seized P15-million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, in a drug bust at the Luneta Park in Manila on Tuesday morning.
Chief Superintendent Edgardo Tinio, Quezon City Police District (QCPD), director identified the arrested suspects as Dixon Kee Yu, 35; Qian Li alias Joey Li, 30; Simon Tan, 53, all Chinese nationals; while the other two were identified as Husni Balenti, 30; and Amir Cana, 27.
Chief Inspector Enrico Figueroa, QCPD Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Group chief, said a police poseur-buyer arranged to buy one kilo of shabu for P1 million from the suspects and agreed to meet at a McDonald's branch along Quezon Avenue around 7 p.m. on Monday.
After showing the contraband to the poseur-buyer, the suspects asked the prospective buyer to proceed with the drug deal scheduled on Tuesday morning around 6:30 a.m.
The said deal resulted in the drug bust at the parking lot of the Harbor View restaurant along the Quirino Grandstand in Roxas Boulevard, Manila.
"Atin napag-alaman na ang grupo na ito ay nag-ooperate sa Central Luzon as well as in Camanava area, particularly in Malabon and Caloocan," Tinio said.
Tinio said the suspects were placed under surveillance for over a month.
Police seized from the suspects a Toyota Fortuner SUV; a blue Mitsubishi Montero (AQA 3092); a Samsung tablet and three cellphones.
The suspects are now detained at Camp Karingal in Quezon City and will be charged with violation of selling dangerous drugs (Section 5), Article II of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Mel Sarmiento, who rushed to the scene with NCRPO Chief Police Director Joel Pagdilao, lauded the QCPD for the success of the operation, citing the measure as one of the impressive results of "Oplan Lambat-Sibat".
Since its launching in 2014, the "Oplan Lambat-Sibat" has led to the neutralization of persons wanted for criminal activities and confiscation of millions of pesos worth of illegal drugs, illegal firearms, and vehicles used in crimes.
Over a week ago, P40 million of suspected shabu were confiscated from Chinese and Filipino suspects in a buy-bust operation in Pasay City. (PNA/Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/Sunnex)