PDEA says drug traders now go online
TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Sept. 19 (PIA) – – With the stiffer travel restrictions set by the government amid Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, drug pushers are now using social media applications for their illegal drugs trading activities, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) region 2 revealed.
Regional Director Joel B. Plaza said the supply of “shabu” which mainly comes from Metro Manila has decreased since the implementation of the community quarantines and installation of checkpoints in almost all boundaries.
He said they observed that drug pushers use different social media applications, like facebook messenger, in their trading activities.
“The delivery of the drugs is in parcels or packages through courier companies and the payment is done through wireless money transfer,” Plaza said.
However, he also stated that there are still some who use private and public utility vehicles as well as motorcycles in the delivery of the illegal drugs.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Plaza said there were 269 operations conducted in which 161.65 grams of shabu worth P917, 000 were seized.
While shabu decreases, seizure of marijuana has increased wherein there were 1, 001.51 kilograms of dried leaves confiscated worth P5.5 million, 1.12 million fully grown plants uprooted worth P225 million, 5 grams of marijuana seeds and 2, 500 seedlings of marjuana were confiscated.
There were also 66 high value targets arrested in last quarter to include one foreigner and 14 government employees.
“The sudden surge of marijuana forfeitures is also due to the stiffer municipal and regional checkpoints which limit inter-regional transport and distribution of the items,” Plaza added.
With this, Plaza said the drug busters of region 2 now focus not only on the street drug trading but also other modus operandi of the pushers to include the online mechanism as well as other modes of transporting the contraband items. (MDCT/OTB/PIA 2-Cagayan)