• Mexico-Sinaloan drug cartel could be expanding in South East Asia region


    A ranking police official said on Thursday that one of Mexico’s influential and notorious drug-cartel could be trying to expand their ‘operations’ in South East Asia when their ‘clandestine’ activities were busted last month by local authorities.

    Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Alan Purisima said the Mexico-Sinaloan drug cartel were setting-up their operations when combine operatives swooped down on their ‘lair’ at a ranch in Batangas last Christmas.

    “There’s a probability that they [Mexico-Sinaloan drug-cartel] are expanding their operations by conniving with other drug groups,” Purisima told reporters in a chance interview in Camp Crame on Thursday.

    He was referring to a raid jointly conducted by operatives of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AID-SOFT), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Army Intelligence Security Group (ISG) last month in Batangas.

    The PNP chief said they have received information that the Mexico-Sinaloan drug cartel were ‘joint’ venturing with a “K14-Gang” members, a local-drug group, in penetrating the local market.

    The Mexico-Sinaloan drug cartel will be ‘smuggling’ into the country illegal drugs, specifically ‘shabu’ or methamphetamine hydrochloride while members of the local drug will the one in charge of the ‘distribution’.

    The PNP chief also confirmed that they are some ‘members’ of the Mexican-Sinaloan drug cartel that could be still in the country and are now subject of their manhunt operations.

    Chief Insp. Roque Merdeguia, PNP AID-SOTF spokesman, said on the other hand that the Mexico-Sinaloan drug cartel was trying to expand their operations in the region.

    “These were based on intelligence informations that we have received that these drug cartel was expanding their operations,” Merdeguia said.

    The AID-SOTF spokesman said that several members of the cartel have already been arrested in authorities in Japan and Malaysia.

    “Some drugs have already been intercepted by Japanese authorities and some cartel members are arrested in Malaysia,” Merdeguia said.

    PDEA, PNP AID-SOTF and ISG personnel were able to seize last month some 84 kilos of high grade ‘shabu’ with a street value of P420 million at the LPL ranch in Brgy. Inosloban, Lipa City, Batangas.

    The said ranch was reportedly leased and paid in full for one year by Fil-American George Torres, a member of the Mexico-Sinaloan drug cartel that made contact with the group of Gary Tan. Both Torres and Tan shares interest in cock-fighting.

    Tan, who was also arrested along with two others during the raid in LPL, is reportedly a big-time drug trafficker that operates in Metro Manila and nearby regions.

    The PNP AID-SOTF has already asked the help of the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) in identify and locate the asset of Torres in the country. Torres reportedly left the country weeks before the raid took place. ANTHONY VARGAS


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