Information supplied by a seasoned police undercover agent led authorities to a game fowl breeding farm in Lipa City where a notorious Mexican drug cartel and its local partner stored a huge shipment of shabu.
The agent, who works for the Philippine National Police’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AID-SOTF), shadowed members of the Sinaloa cartel and a Chinese drug syndicate for a month, AID-SOTF spokesman Chief Insp. Roque Merdeguia told The Manila Times on Monday.
“The group appeared on the radar of the AID-SOTF on the last quarter of the year. At that time, we didn’t know who were the members or where they were operating,” Merdeguia said.
The agent’s mission was to locate where the group was operating from.
In November, the agent had positive information that the group was using a portion of the LPL Ranch in Lipa to store shabu that was being smuggled in by the Sinaloa.
“When our agent was able to locate them that’s when all the action started. We sought the help and coordination of other agencies, the army and others, since this would be a big operation,” Merdeguia said.
On Christmas Day, a team of police and military agents raided the ranch, and found 84 kilos of shabu in plastic packages.
The raiders arrested Gary Tan, believed to be the Chinese partner of the Mexican cartel, and a Filipino couple.
Merdeguia described the agent as a police officer in his mid-40s who has been doing undercover missions for the past 10 years. He declined to give more details about the agent.
The shabu bust was a joint effort of AID-SOTF, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Army Intelligence Service Group and the US Drug Enforcement Agency.
Tan is described as a drug trafficker whose area of operations was centered in Metro Manila and outlying regions. Torres is said to be Sinaloa’s point man in the Philippines.
Tan and Torres, a Fil-American with US passport, are both cockfighting aficionados and familiar figures in cock derbies.
Torres was not at the gamecock farm when it was raided.