Illegal drugs worth P78.2 million seized in buy-and-bust operation in Mandaue City

By Benjie Talisic |July 24,2019 - 01:15 AM

Police seize a total of P78.2 million of illegal drugs in a buy-and-bust operation turned armed encounter on Tuesday afternoon, July 22, along Zuelling Avenue in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City. CDND PHOTO / Benjie Talisic

MANDUE CITY, Cebu―It was a buy-and-bust operation turned armed encounter that resulted to the deaths of three individuals.

The operation yielded 11.5 kilograms of shabu (methamphetamine) with a Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) value of P78.2 million.

For one month, the joined forces of the Drug Enforcement Unit of the City Intelligence Branch of the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Central Visayas (PDEA-7) monitored Prince James Ledesma Mapalo, 21, who was pinpointed as a high-value target and the source of illegal drugs.

Police Colonel Jonathan Abella, officer in charge of MCPO, said Mapalo was their main target in the operation that happened on July 23, 2019 at around 3:30 p.m. along Zuelling Avenue in Barangay Subangdaku, Mandaue City.

Abella said Mapalo handed over an extra large package of illegal drugs to the operative who posed as the buyer.

Mapalo noticed that he was transacting with police and immediately pulled the gun tucked on his waist and attempted to shoot his buyer.

The operative dodged the bullet fired by the suspect.

By then, the rest of the police back-up were all alert in the case of a shootout.

Two of Mapalo’s companions fired at the police. The encounter resulted to the immediate deaths of Mapalo and one companion. The other person was wounded and was brought to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending physician.

Police are yet to identify Mapalo’s two companions.

READ: 2 dead, 1 wounded in Mandaue City drug-related shootout

Apart from a combined 11.5 kilos of illegal drugs that were seized inside the multicab, police also recovered different guns and assorted ammunitions including one .45 caliber pistol, one 9mm KG9 submachine gun, one .38 caliber revolver, and one .22 caliber magnum black widow.

Abella said they are currently investigating the case to determine the identities of the two suspects and the owner of the multicab that the suspects used during the operation.

Abella said they believe that the illegal drugs seized inside the van were yet to be delivered in Cebu City.

With the amount of drugs found in the van, Abella said they believe that the suspects are members of a major drug syndicate. / celr

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