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PDEA agents bust 4 Sultan Kudarat drug rings
PDEA-ARMM agents examine the firearms and drugs seized before dawn Monday in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao. Philstar.com/John Unson
MAGUINDANAO — Authorities busted before dawn Monday four drug rings in a series of raids that resulted in the arrest of 12 people and the seizure of assorted guns and shabu.
Members of the regional Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency carried out the raids in Barangay Katuli in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao using various warrants issued by local courts.
Seven of the 12 suspected drug dealers now in the custody of the PDEA are women. They are now undergoing questioning by probers.
PDEA officials told The STAR on Monday that they learned of the presence of different but apparently interconnected drug distribution groups in Barangay Katuli from vigilant Muslim villagers.
Agents recovered assorted firearms, including an M-14 rifle, an M-16 Bushmaster and two vintage .45 caliber Thompson submachineguns during their operation in Barangay Katuli.
The operation was assisted by the Army's 5th Special Forces Battalion, the 37th Infantry Battalion and combined members of the Maguindanao provincial police and the Sultan Kudarat municipal police offices.
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Personnel of the PDEA in Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao had arrested more than a dozen large-scale shabu distributors in Cotabato City and nearby towns in Maguindanao in three weeks of operations that preceded Monday's simultaneous raids in Barangay Katuli.