P4M ‘shabu’ seized from 2 men in San Remigio

By: Mary Rose S. Sagarino - CDN Digital Correspondent | January 25,2024 - 09:12 PM

P4M 'shabu' seized from 2 men in San Remigio. In photo is a map of San Remigio

MANDAUE CITY, Philippines – About 500 grams of illegal drugs, worth around P4 million, were confiscated from an alleged high-value individual and his companion from San Remigio town in northern Cebu.

Suspects Leo Montealto, 45, considered a high-value individual by authorities, and Ritchel Banga-Banga, 33, were arrested in Sitio Bungtod, Barangay Calambua during a raid by personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation Cebu District Office (NBI-CEBDO) on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

They are believed to be supplying illegal drugs to several localities in northern Cebu.

READ: Ex-con caught with P6.8M ‘shabu’ in Cebu City buy-bust

Market for shabu northern part of Cebu

Aside from the illegal drugs, marked money worth P16,000 was also confiscated, along with a weighing scale, lighter, and a record book with names and other details believed to be those with whom they have transacted.

NBI-CEBDO Agent-in-charge Arnel Pura said that they conducted a surveillance operation for a month after receiving an intelligence report about their alleged drug trade in the northern part of Cebu, such as in San Remigio, Tabogon, Sogod, and Bogo, among others.

Bienvenido Panican, the NBI-CEBDO Executive Officer for Operation, said that the house where Montealto is situated was converted into a drug den.

READ: Shabu worth nearly P4 million seized in Kalunasan drug bust

Shabu supply from Talisay

Based on the initial investigation, Panican said that it was discovered their supply was obtained from a barangay in Talisay City, allowing them to dispose of over one kilogram of shabu in a month.

Aside from illegal drugs, Agent-in-charge Pura said that Montealto and Banga-Banga were also allegedly guns-for-hire and engaged in election-related harassment for their favored candidates.

Moreover, they were involved in robbery and illegal discharge of firearms, he added.

“The facts were confirmed,” said Pura.

READ: 50 cops sued over P 6.7-billion ‘shabu’ haul irregularities

Drug dealers earlier jailed

In 2011, they were jailed for attempted murder and illegal possession of firearms and explosive. They were released from prison only last year.

The suspects will be facing charges for possession of illegal drugs and illegal possession of firearms.

During a press conference on Thursday, members of the media tried to get their side but were refused a statement.

ALSO READ: Former barangay councilor nabbed with P136,000 shabu in Cebu City

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TAGS: drug raid, drugs, NBI Cebdo, shabu

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