FORFEITING the properties of dead suspected drug lords in favor of the government is difficult.

Supt. Henry Biñas of Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 said death extinguishes any criminal liability of a person.

Despite this, the PRO 7 yesterday created a team to track down the properties and money of suspected big-time drug personalities operating in Central Visayas.

Biñas said they will tap the Anti-Money Laundering Council to help them in the investigation. The properties will be turned over to the government if the properties are forfeited.

Panel members

The Regional Investigation and Detective Management Division (RIDMD) 7, Regional Intelligence Division, the legal service unit and the chiefs of Investigation and Detective Management Branches from other police units comprise the panel of investigators.

“Under the money laundering law, there are forfeiture proceedings,” said Biñas, RIDMD 7 chief.

However, he admitted they might have difficulty acquiring properties of suspected drug lords Rowen “Yawa” Secretaria and Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz, who were both killed in a shootout with police in separate operations.

Biñas said they will still conduct an investigation to determine if their properties and money came from illegal sources.

Real estate

“We will find ways to determine drug traders’ properties even if these are registered in other names,” he said.

Police received reports that Diaz owned eight houses in Manila and other properties in Cebu, Secretaria has a big house in Banacon Islet in Getafe, Bohol.

Alvaro “Barok” Alvaro, an alleged big-time drug dealer in Cebu Province, surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation 7 in Bohol last Tuesday afternoon.

He has several properties, including a beach resort in Catmon.

Other drug personalities are also included in the investigation. Their bank accounts and possible legitimate business ventures will also be checked.