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PDEA arrests big-time drug suspect in Maguindanao town
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has taken custody of alleged drug trafficker Arbaya Madatu, who was arrested in Talitay on Wednesday. JOHN UNSON
MAGUINDANAO, Philippines — Anti-narcotics agents on Wednesday seized shabu, assault rifles and explosive projectiles in a raid in Talitay town, touted as the narcotics capital of Maguindanao province.
The target of the raid, suspected large-scale drug trafficker Madatu Buisan, escaped but his wife, Arbaya, who allegedly helped him distribute shabu, was arrested.
She is now detained at the office of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Cotabato City.
Bryan Babang, director of PDEA-ARMM, told The STAR Wednesday that the operation that resulted in Arbaya's arrest was carried out with the help of vigilant Talitay residents who provided information on the activities of the couple.
PDEA-ARMM agents recovered from their hideout a customized Bushmaster 5.56-caliber assault rifle and an M203 rifle fitted with a launcher for 40-millimeter grenade projectiles.
They also confiscated more than P20,000 in cash from drug deals by the Madatu couple, bank receipts indicating more than P100,000 worth of remittances to their supplier of shabu, 11 grenades and 21 ammunition magazines for the confiscated rifles.
Two of Madatu’s henchmen, initially identified only as Jean and Ali, also eluded arrest.
Babang said Madatu’s wife will be prosecuted for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.