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World's most powerful drug cartel now in Philippines

  1. Hey :-)
    MANILA (UPDATE) - The world's most powerful drug cartel is now making forays into Philippine territory with the discovery of a shabu storage facility in Lipa, Batangas holding nearly half a billion pesos worth of drugs, government authorities said Thursday.

    "The Mexicans are here. This is the first time that we have confirmed it," Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias, Philippine National Police - Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (PNP-AIDSOTF) chief, said in a press briefing.

    On Wednesday, Christmas Day, joint elements of the PNP-AIDSOTF and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency seized P420 million worth of shabu during a raid at the LPL Ranch in Barangay Inosloban, Lipa.

    The drugs, a total of 84 kilos of shabu in vacuum-sealed latex packs, were placed in 4 pieces of luggage.

    Three suspected big-time drug traffickers, identified as Gary Tan, Argay Argenos and Rochelle Argenos, were arrested during the operation.

    Tobias said that sometime in the last quarter of the year, the PNP-AIDSOTF received information that Tan was a big-time drug trafficker operating in Metro Manila and the nearby regions.

    "Reports further disclosed Tan worked with a certain Jorge Torres, a Filipino American with a US passport. Both are accordingly affiliated with the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel," he said.

    The Sinaloa Cartel is often described as the largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization in the Western Hemisphere. A New York Times article said the cartel is responsible for the creation of underground tunnels that allowed the entry of drugs from Mexican border towns to the United States.

    The cartel's main leader, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001. He is now America's most wanted drug trafficker, as well as being considered by Forbes as the most powerful criminal on the planet.

    More than 77,000 people have been killed in Mexico in connection with organized crime since then-president Felipe Calderon launched a nationwide war against the cartels after taking office in 2006.

    A new market for shabu

    Philippine authorities are filing charges of violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act against Tan, the Argenos couple, Jorge Torres and two other Mexican nationals identified only as alias Jaime and alias Joey. The two Mexicans are believed to be part of the Siniloa Cartel.

    PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima said police are still investigating how the cartel is moving the drugs into the country. He said anyone could easily travel from island to island in the southern Philippines.

    He also said the cartel focused on shipping shabu because it is easier to sell in the Philippines.

    "The market for methamphetamine hydrochloride pwede sila pumunta sa Pilipinas. Mura, madaling gawin, madaling i-sell. It's more feasible. If you sell cocaine in the Philippines, baka walang bibili. Mahal. It's like a business," he told reporters.

    PDEA chief Arturo Cacdac Jr. said the Philippines is not the only country being eyed by the cartel. He said Japanese authorities have also discovered shipments of shabu supposedly coming from the cartel.

    "They found Asia has a market for shabu," he said.

    Purisima said the cartel is getting help from Chinese drug traffickers to establish operations in the Philippines.

    "We can see that they are just starting. We need to take action so they cannot go further in," he said in Filipino.

    He also noted that the police will consult its lawyers after the shabu storage facility was discovered on LPL Ranch, which is owned by the family of former Batangas Governor Antonio Leviste. Leviste was tried and convicted of murdering his aide in 2007 but has since been granted parole.

    Purisima said the compound used as a shabu storage facility was leased.


    ABS-CBNnews
    David Dizon
    December 26 2013
    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/12/26/13/worlds-most-powerful-drug-cartel-now-ph

Comments

  1. Hey :-)
    Levistes deny ties to Mexican drug cartel

    MANILA (UPDATED) -- Batangas Vice-Governor Mark Leviste and his father, Conrad Leviste, on Thursday denied knowing that alleged members of a Mexican drug cartel are operating in their property.

    In a statement, Mark and Conrad said that they found reports on the almost half a billion pesos worth of illegal drugs found in Lipa City "incorrect and malicious."

    "We categorically deny that drugs were found at a 'Leviste Ranch,'" the statement said.

    The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police - Anti-Illegal-Drugs Special Operations Task Force (PNP-AIDSOTF) seized P420 million worth of shabu during a raid at the LPL Ranch in Barangay Inosloban, Lipa, according to authorities.

    PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima said they will consult lawyers regarding the ranch, which allegedly belongs to the clan of former Batangas Governor Antonio Leviste, who is out on parole for homicide.

    The Levistes, however, claimed that the former Batangas governor does not own the property where the illegal drugs were seized.

    "If (drugs) were found in a 'Tan-Torres Farm' then they should say so," the statement said.

    "Gov. Tony does not own the compound and he should not be dragged into the issue. It's unfair for him and his family most especially he has issues of his own," it added. "We don't want to add to his own problems and the press shouldn't use him or his case just to make an issue a headline or "news worthy".

    The Batangas vice-governor's father and the former governor are twin brothers.

    The Levistes said they were told by caretakers on Wednesday that the farm of one of their lessees was raided by the police.

    "We are not our tenant's keeper. We do not and will never tolerate any and all illegal activities in our developments and properties," they said.

    The clan promised to cooperate with police.

    The Levistes said LPL Estates is home to several personalities and politicians such as Senator Ralph Recto and Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and several cock breeders.

    Police, meanwhile, said that aside from the 2 Filipinos and a Filipino-Chinese arrested during the raid, the actual members of the Mexican cartel were not captured by authorities.

    "We have previously had reports that the Mexicans are here and... this is the first time we have confirmed that indeed, the Mexicans are already here," police Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias said.

    Tobias did not say how they knew the Sinaloa cartel was involved

    He said a Filipino-American named Gary Torres and two Mexicans known as "Jaime" and "Joey" were being sought in connection with the seized drugs.

    President Benigno Aquino's spokesman Herminio Coloma said the government would act promptly against the cartel.

    "Of course, the government will seek to arrest these lawbreakers, stop their crimes, and protect the citizenry," he told reporters.

    It was not clear why the Mexican cartel would have entered the Philippines.

    The national police chief, Director-General Alan Purisima, said the country's strategic location and the difficulty of guarding the archipelago's maritime borders made it easy to infiltrate.

    "It is part of our investigation how the cartel was able to penetrate our country. We are still in the process of determining what is the history behind the arrest of these people," Purisima said.

    He said Chinese drug syndicates may be colluding with the Mexicans.

    A PDEA spokesman, Derrick Carreon, said the entry of the Mexican cartel was based on "intelligence reports" but did not elaborate.

    The Mexican embassy declined to comment.

    The Sinaloa cartel is reputed to be the largest source of illegal drugs to the United States.

    Its main leader, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001. He is now America's most wanted drug trafficker, as well as being considered by Forbes as the most powerful criminal on the planet.

    More than 77,000 people have been killed in Mexico in connection with organized crime since then-president Felipe Calderon launched a nationwide war against the cartels after taking office in 2006.


    ABS-CBNnews
    December 26 2013
    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/12/26/13/levistes-deny-ties-mexican-drug-cartel
  2. Hey :-)
    DOJ to summon Leivista in Mexican drug cartel probe

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) will summon former Batangas governor Jose Antonio "Tony" Leviste in its probe on the reported operation of a powerful Mexican drug cartel in the Philippines.

    A GMA News TV Live report said the DOJ wants Leviste to produce the lease contract of the LPL Ranch located in Barangay Inosluban in Lipa City, where P420 million worth of illegal drugs were seized by authorities last Wednesday.

    In a media interview, Leviste, who was recently granted parole, denied owning the ranch.

    On Thursday, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) said the illegal drugs recovered in the Batangas ranch can be traced to the Mexican Sinoloa drug ring, which has been tagged by international media as Mexico's most powerful drug syndicate.


    GMA News
    By Andreo Calonzo/KBK
    December 27 2013
    http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/stor...o-summon-leviste-in-mexican-drug-cartel-probe
  3. Hey :-)
    Gov't tracks entry of Mexican drug cartel

    MANILA - Malacañang is pushing government agencies to check how elements connected to the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel were able to enter the country.

    The Palace lauded the recent operation of the Philippine National Police which resulted in the confiscation of 84 kilos of drugs and arrest of several persons including an alleged member of the Mexican drug cartel, in a farm in Lipa City, Batangas.

    Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigal Valte said the knowledge of the syndicate's presence and their operations in the country would make it easier for Philippine authorities to identify and to target them.

    "If you've noticed over the years because of the increased coordination of [Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency], of PNP, of [National Bureau of Investigation], with other anti-drug groups or at least offices in other countries, nagkakaroon po ng mas magandang information sharing, which leads to the capture of either smugglers or these rings here," Valte said.

    "Ayaw naman na - ayaw ho natin na maging haven for drugs, for illegal drugs ang ating bansa," she added.

    The Palace spokeswoman said government will check with the Bureau of Immigration on how the arrested foreigners were able to enter the country.

    "Part of their prosecution also will have to - is the checking of how they were able to enter the country - kung were there papers in order or talagang meron hong na-miss. That is something that should also be looked into after the capture of the ring," said Valte.

    Three suspected big-time drug traffickers, identified as Gary Tan, Argay Argenos and Rochelle Argenos, were arrested during the operation in Batangas.

    Senior Superintendent Bartolome Tobias, PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force chief, said they had information that Tan was a big-time drug trafficker operating in Metro Manila and the nearby regions.

    "Reports further disclosed Tan worked with a certain Jorge Torres, a Filipino American with a US passport. Both are accordingly affiliated with the Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel," he said.

    The Sinaloa Cartel is often described as the largest and most powerful drug trafficking organization in the Western Hemisphere. A New York Times article said the cartel is responsible for the creation of underground tunnels that allowed the entry of drugs from Mexican border towns to the United States.

    The cartel's main leader, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001. He is now America's most wanted drug trafficker, as well as being considered by Forbes as the most powerful criminal on the planet.


    ABS-CBN News
    By Jorge Carino
    December 27 2013
    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/12/27/13/govt-tracks-entry-mexican-drug-cartel
  4. Hey :-)
    Mark Leviste denies snubbing DOJ hearing

    BATANGAS , Philippines– Vice Governor Mark Leviste yesterday belied reports that he and his father Conrad snubbed the preliminary investigation of the Department of Justice last Thursday due to the heavy traffic brought about by the celebration of the Feast of Black Nazarene.

    He said his lawyer Leo Pascua was misquoted when he allegedly stated the Levistes could not attend the hearing due to heavy traffic in Manila.

    [IMGR=''white'']https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=36667&stc=1&d=1389574473[/IMGR]Leviste said they decided not to attend the hearing because their lawyers advised them not to.

    “We only followed the advice of our lawyers. They told us that it was only a preliminary investigation and we are properly represented by them,” he said.

    Last week, the DOJ summoned the Levistes, including former Batangas governor Antonio Leviste, to submit statements concerning the seizure of drugs by the police in the family-owned LPL ranch in Lipa City on Christmas Day.

    Raiding lawmen arrested Gary Tan, Argay Argenos and Rochelle Argenos and seized from them some 84 kilos of shabu.

    The three suspects were told to submit their counter-affidavit on the charges filed against them.

    Of the five that were summoned by the DOJ, only the former Batangas governor appeared in the preliminary hearing.

    Leviste, convicted by a Makati court in January 2009 for homicide in the shooting of his aide, was granted parole last December.

    Leviste appeared and insisted he does not own the property where the drugs were recovered. He also denied involvement with the three suspects, said to be members of a Mexican drug cartel.


    Philippine News
    By Arnell Ozaeta
    Saturday 11 January 2014
    http://www.philippinenews.com/ts/14422-mark-leviste-denies-snubbing-doj-hearing.html
  5. Hey :-)
    Key suspect in Mexican drug cartel leaves Philippines

    MANILA - A key suspect linked to the shabu storage facility found on LPL Ranch in Lipa City, Batangas has left the country.

    Chief Inspector Roque Merdegia Jr., head of the Philippine National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force Intelligence and Investigation Division, said Filipino-American Jorge Torres has left the Philippines and is back in the United States.

    Merdegia believes Torres helped Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel establish its drug operations in the country.

    Torres reportedly leased a portion of the LPL Ranch in Batangas where more than 80 kilos of shabu were recently seized.

    LPL Ranch is owned by the Leviste family and some family members have been summoned by the justice department to help shed light on the case.

    "Kung Mexicans, wala silang idea pa sa Pilipinas kaya sila gumawa ng connection with Chinese at kay Jorge Torres, a Fil-Am. Si Jorge nakakaalam ng pasikot sikot dito sa bansa," Merdegia told ANC.

    He said the raid on the shabu storage facility was done after a month of surveillance. He said police received information that the drugs would be sold in Metro Manila and other provinces.

    Three people were arrested during the raid.

    The Sinaloa cartel is reputed to be the largest source of illegal drugs to the United States.

    Its main leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001. He is now America's most wanted drug trafficker, as well as being considered by Forbes as the most powerful criminal on the planet.

    More than 77,000 people have been killed in Mexico in connection with organized crime since then-president Felipe Calderon launched a nationwide war against the cartels after taking office in 2006.


    ABS-CBN News
    January 8 2014
    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/nation/01/08/14/key-suspect-mexican-drug-cartel-leaves-ph
  6. Hey :-)
    U.S. Government and Top Mexican Drug Cartel Exposed as Partners

    For over a decade, under multiple administrations, the U.S. government had a secret agreement with the ruthless Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel that allowed it to operate with impunity, an in-depth investigation by a leading Mexican newspaper confirmed this week.

    In exchange for information and assistance in quashing competing criminal syndicates, the Bush and Obama administrations let the Sinaloa cartel import tons of drugs into the United States while wiping out Sinaloa competitors and ensuring that its leaders would not be prosecuted for their long list of major crimes. Other revelations also point strongly to massive but clandestine U.S. government involvement in drug trafficking.

    Relying on over 100 interviews with current and former government functionaries on both sides of the border, as well as official documents from the U.S. and Mexican governments, Mexico’s El Universal concluded that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the U.S. Justice Department had secretly worked with Mexican drug lords. The controversial conspiring led to increased violence across Mexico, where many tens of thousands have been murdered in recent years, the newspaper found after its year-long probe. The U.S. agents and their shady deals with Mexican drug lords even sparked what the paper called a “secret war” inside Mexico.

    The newspaper’s investigation also confirmed long-held suspicions that U.S. authorities were signing secret agreements with Mexican drug cartels — especially Sinaloa, which CIA operatives have said was a favorite for use in achieving geo-political objectives. Supposedly without the knowledge or approval of officials in Mexico, ICE and DEA, with a green light from Washington, D.C., made deals with criminal bosses allowing them to avoid prosecution for a vast crime spree that has included mass murder, corruption, bribery, drug trafficking, extortion, and more. In exchange, cartel leaders simply had to help U.S. officials eliminate their competitors — certainly a win-win scenario for crime bosses who prefer to operate without competition or fear of prosecution.

    [IMGR=''white'']https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=36702&stc=1&d=1389826249[/IMGR]As The New American first reported in early 2011, a high-ranking operative with the Sinaloa cartel had outlined elements of the criminal agreements with U.S. authorities in official court documents. “The government of the United States and its various agencies have a long history of providing benefits, permission, and immunity to criminals and their organizations to commit crimes, including murder, in exchange for receiving information against other criminals and other organizations,” trafficker Jesus Vicente “El Vicentillo” Zambada-Niebla argued in U.S. court filings cited by El Universal. The New American has also reported extensively on the Zambada-Niebla case and what it reveals.

    Experts quoted in the Mexican paper echoed other analysts who have spoken out in recent years, saying that the U.S. government scheming handed the Sinaloa cartel de facto status as the primary powerhouse. In fact, during the period when El Universal says the relationship between American officials and Sinaloa chieftains was most active — 2006 through 2012 — drug war-fueled violence in Mexico surged to unprecedented levels. There are numerous indications that despite official denials, top Mexican officials may have been aware of the schemes, or even involved in them.

    Also part of the U.S. government deal with Sinaloa, analysts and Zambada-Niebla have said, was the Obama administration’s “Fast and Furious” gun-running program to arm Mexican cartels at U.S. taxpayer expense. Most recently, a whistleblower from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) said that U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, killed with a Fast and Furious gun, was murdered by criminals working for the FBI. “It is clear that some of the weapons were deliberately allowed by the FBI and other government representatives to end up in the hands of the Sinaloa Cartel,” stated a motion filed in U.S. court by Zambada-Niebla’s defense team, adding that the U.S. government has documents showing that the weapons were provided by authorities pursuant to the agreement with Sinaloa.

    According to former officials and drug kingpins, the agreements between Sinaloa and Washington also allowed the criminal empire to ship multi-ton quantities of hard drugs across the border into the United States. In all, El Universal said there had been at least 50 meetings in Mexico between U.S. government agents and senior Sinaloa bosses, along with many more phone calls and e-mails. The criminal syndicate’s leaders “were given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago and the rest of the United States and were also protected by the United States government from arrest and prosecution,” Zambada-Niebla’s court filings state, adding that the U.S. government has the documents proving it. “Indeed, United States government agents aided the leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel.”

    Unsurprisingly, none of the American federal agencies implicated in the machinations would comment on the revelations. However, citing court documents and official records it published online — as well as numerous interviews with federal agents, convicts, and analysts — the paper was able to conclusively confirm what experts and even officials have been arguing for years: The U.S. government is deeply intertwined with the drug trade. It was not clear what statutory or constitutional authority Washington, D.C., believes would authorize its functionaries to participate in, protect, and facilitate wanton criminal activity.

    Mexican authorities, meanwhile, were reportedly kept largely out of the loop surrounding DEA meetings and agreements with top leaders in Mexico’s most notorious criminal syndicates. Officials in Mexico also claimed to be in the dark about the Obama administration's program to arm the cartels with U.S. weapons. According to analysts quoted in the El Universal report, if it is true that Mexico City was unaware, that only adds to the troubling implications of the unlawful scheming between U.S. officials and criminal bosses from Mexico and Colombia to Afghanistan and Southeast Asia.

    Among other concerns, experts highlighted violations of human rights, infringements on the sovereignty of other nations, and more. It also helped fuel the devastating violence that has plagued the nation and claimed the lives of between 50,000 and 100,000 people in less than a decade. If Mexican authorities in fact approved the U.S. government’s drug-running schemes in Mexico, they broke the law, too, legal experts told the paper, saying the Mexican Constitution could not be trumped by bilateral agreements or anything else.

    The latest revelations in the El Universal report came just days after the emergence of more explosive information implicating the CIA in drug-trafficking yet again. In an investigative article for Narco News entitled “DEA Case Threatens to Expose US Government-Sanctioned Drug-Running,” veteran drug-war journalist Bill Conroy highlights another U.S. government investigation that, perhaps inadvertently, ended up implicating the infamous American intelligence agency in major cocaine trafficking operations once more. Citing official documents and numerous U.S. officials, the piece also notes that CIA-sponsored drug running has been a persistent and ongoing problem.

    In fact, it would not be the first time that the DEA has stumbled on major CIA drug-running operations. Even former DEA chief Robert Bonner, during an explosive interview with CBS, revealed that his agency had learned that the U.S. intelligence outfit unlawfully imported a ton of cocaine into the United States in cooperation with the Venezuelan government. According to the agency’s inspector general, the CIA was indeed working with traffickers but received a “waiver” from the Justice Department purporting to allow the government crime spree to remain secret. More recently, a Mexican official accused the CIA of “managing” the global drug trade.

    The Mexican investigation follows decades of explosive revelations and accusations, many documented by The New American, suggesting that Washington, D.C., plays a crucial role in facilitating the international drug trade. In fact, more than a few officials, drug lords, and analysts have even said that the CIA and other secretive U.S. and foreign agencies actually run the global trade in narcotics, laundering the profits, and more. The DEA was even investigated by Congress last year for helping to launder drug money, while the ATF was exposed supplying U.S. weapons to Mexican cartels. ICE has reportedly been allowing cartel hit men into the United States to murder. So far, none of the high-ranking officials responsible for the lawlessness have truly been held accountable.


    By Alex Newman
    Photograph; AP Images
    Tuesday 14 January 2014
    The New American
    http://www.thenewamerican.com/world...d-top-mexican-drug-cartel-exposed-as-partners
  7. Hey :-)
    I have included my previous post onto this thread as a possible/probable contributing factor in Jorge Torres's return to the U.S
  8. Hey :-)
    Lipa drug suspect belies link to Mexican cartel

    Gary Tan, one of the arrested suspects during a drug raid in Lipa City, Batangas, on Tuesday showed up at the preliminary investigation into the alleged Mexican drug cartel operating in the city.

    During the proceedings led by Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, Tan's lawyers submitted a three-page counter-affidavit denying charges against him for illegal possession of prohibited drugs and illegal possession of firearms.

    In the counter-affidavit, Tan stated that he had no knowledge of the four pieces of luggage containing shabu which were found in the LPL Ranch Estate in Barrio Inosluban, Lipa City last December 25.

    He added that he does not own the guns and ammunition found in the farm.

    The two other suspected big-time drug traffickers who were arrested during the raid -- spouses Arjay Argenos and Rochelle Argenos -- also earlier said that they knew nothing of the alleged illegal operations in the 10,000-square meter property leased to a certain Jorge Torres.

    They asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to dismiss the charges against them.

    Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police - Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (PNP-AIDSOTF) filed a new complaint against three other Mexican personalities identified as Carlos Isaac Eatolla Ochoa, Jaime Ibatra Canchez, and Fernando Jose.

    The respondents moved that they be given time to file a supplemental counter-affidavit because they fear that the new complaint against the Mexicans might incriminate them.

    The next preliminary investigation will be on January 28, Tuesday, at 2 p.m.


    By Bettina Magsaysay
    January 21 2014
    ABS-CBN News
    http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/01/21/14/lipa-drug-suspect-belies-link-mexican-cartel
  9. Hey :-)
    Drug raps filed against 3 suspected Sinaloa members

    Three more alleged members of the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico were charged before the Department of Justice on Tuesday.

    The National Police Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force asked the DOJ to prosecute the suspects identified as Carlos Isaac Ochoa, alias “Ochoa”; Jaime Ibarra Sanchez, alias “Jaime”; and a certain “Fernando Jose” for their alleged involvement in illegal drugs and as cohorts of Jorge Torres, suspected head the syndicate. Lawmen busted the alleged syndicate during a raid on the Lipa City ranch owned by the family of Batangas Vice Gov. Mark Leviste.

    The AIDSOTF accused the suspects of delivery, transportation and possession of illegal drugs punishable under Republic Act 9165, or Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.

    [IMGR=''white'']https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=36818&stc=1&d=1390392178[/IMGR]Ochoa and Sanchez are both 40 years old and from Sinaloa, Mexico.

    In a 12-page referral to the DOJ, AIDSOTF said their surveillance operations in October and November last year showed the link between the group and Horacio Hernandez, whom they classified as “mid-level Sinaloa drug cartel.”

    Hernandez, who arrived in the country on October 28, 2013, was allegedly tasked to conduct illegal drug deals in the country through a joint operation with a Chinese drug ring led by Gary Tan, who was among those arrested in the raid.

    He supposedly “supplied cocaine and shabu to a Manila-based drug trafficker.”

    Police found out that the group was selling shabu for P1.2 million per kilogram and ephedrine for P320,000 per kilo.

    Ochoa, Sanchez and “Fernando Jose” were billeted in separate hotel rooms and suites in Greenhills, San Juan City and transferred the contrabands from one room to another. The illegal drugs they held for weeks were the same P420 million worth of shabu seized from Tan, police said.

    The investigating DOJ panel is set to summon the three suspects. An earlier subpoena was issued on Torres, an American citizen, but he reportedly left for the United States.

    Tan and Filipino couple Argay and Rochelle Argenos were arrested for possessing 80 kilograms of shabu. They already faced preliminary investigation before investigating panel chaired by Asst. State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera.

    Vice Gov. Leviste, his father Conrad and uncle Antonio, were also summoned by the DOJ in connection with the issue on ownership of the LPL ranch where the suspects were arrested and the illegal drugs seized.

    Justice Secretary Leila de Lima wanted to determine whether there was violation of Section 30 of R.A. 9165, which penalizes owner of a property or establishment “who consents to or knowingly tolerates or authorizes the use of a facility” in illegal drug production or trade.

    This issue was raised with the possibility of former Gov. Antonio Leviste losing his parole grant. Just last month, he stepped out of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City after being granted parole following incarceration for the 2007 killing of his long-time aide Rafael delas Alas.


    By Rey E. Requejo
    Photograph philstar
    January 22 2014
    Manila Standard Today
    http://manilastandardtoday.com/mobi...ps-filed-against-3-suspected-sinaloa-members/
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