TWO Canadians, who were arrested in simultaneous anti-illegal drug raids in 2014, have been sentenced by a Makati Court to life imprisonment in the Philippines.
In an 11-page decision, Judge Selma Alaras of Branch 63 of the Makati Regional Trial Court convicted James Clayton Riach and Ali Memar Mortazavi Shirazi for the possession of more than P100 million worth of shabu and ecstacy.
The two convicts were also asked to pay P500,000 in penalty for violation of Section 11, Article 2 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
In January 2014, Riach and Shirazi were arrested by personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation in their rented condo unit at Gramercy Residences on Kalayaan Avenue corner Salamanca Street, Barangay Poblacion, Makati.
Prior to the arrest, the NBI has been monitoring Riach, who was among the members of a dreaded crime gang in Canada, which has been convicted there for various crimes.
Riach has been in the Philippines for about three months to establish a network to penetrate the illegal drugs trade.
The NBI was able to confirm the suspects’ illegal activities through a “test buy operation,” in which agents pretended to be buyers.
Authorities confirmed the purchased items were illegal drugs after laboratory testing.
Reports said that said the arrested suspects allegedly imported material from Mexico and processed them into shabu, cocaine, and ecstacy for distribution in nightclubs and bars in Metro Manila. JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ