PDEA agents with Drug Enforcement Units of Negros Oriental conducting inventory of the 3.4 million worth of shabu sent to Dumaguete City through a courier service. (photo from PDEA Negros Oriental)

At least 3.4 million worth of suspected shabu shipped via courier service was intercepted by drug operatives in Dumaguete City, Monday, Jan. 25.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Negros Oriental head A1 Francis Tangeres, said they arrested Ronald Japon, 37, of Barangay Mangnao in a drug bust at Purok Riboma, Barangay Banilad, handing over to the poser buyer four packs of shabu weighing 500 grams. 

“It took us a while to arrest the suspect. They need to trust us first before they can give such a big amount (of shabu),” he said.

Japon is considered by the PDEA as a high-value target for selling at least 50 grams or P300,000 worth of illegal shabu per week.

Tangeres said the illegal drug trade employs sending their contrabands through courier services due to travel restrictions.

“This is not a new mode. It has been used before, but we are now on the lookout for similar transactions because there’s limited travel of people,” he said.

The City of Dumaguete has at least 24 registered courier services catering mostly large cargos, with few smaller parcels. One is a Manila-based courier service used in Japon’s contraband delivery.

Tangeres said PDEA signed various memoranda of agreement with several courier service providers to “suppress drug trafficking” through deliveries. “They shifted to it (courier service) since cargos continued to operate throughout the pandemic,” he said. Ryan Sorote