• Cagayan drug syndicates employ minors as peddlers


    DRUG syndicates in the Cagayan Valley region continue to “employ minors” in their illegal trade of the dreaded methamphetamine hydro-chloride, popularly known as shabu, according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

    Juvenal Azurin, PDEA director for Cagayan Valley, said that drug syndicates also resort to car switching and bank-to-bank transaction to avoid detection from authorities.

    Based on their anti-drug operations, Azurin said that shabu is still the top choice among drug dealers and users, with marijuana as second in the list. On the other hand, around 384 of the 2,311 barangays have been identified as “drug-affected or drug-influenced.”

    Reports show that as of November, PDEA and police authorities confiscated some 351.0754 grams of shabu and 62 bricks or 2,218.229 grams of marijuana in 187 anti-drug operations, which led to the arrest of 272 drug personalities in the region.

    Azurin said the seized illegal drugs have a combined street value of P3.25 million, which ranges from P8,000 to P9,000 per gram or P25,000 to P30,000 per five grams for shabu, and P1,500 to P2,000 per kilogram for marijuana.

    Meanwhile, supplies of dried marijuana leaves now abound in the country’s major tourism destinations among foreigners despite PDEA’s ongoing crack-down on marijuana and other illegal drugs.

    Ronald Allan Ricardo, PDEA director for the Cordillera Administrative Region, has cited Boracay in Aklan as one of the major markets of marijuana cultivators and traders, adding that foreign tourists prefer marijuana for its cheaper price and medicinal value.


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