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8 'members' of big drug ring nabbed in Maguindanao

The Bua drug syndicate is believed to be operating in Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Parang, Buldon, Barira and Matanog towns in the first district of Maguindanao.

MAGUINDANAO — Anti-narcotics agents on Friday arrested eight members of a large drug ring operating in six towns in Maguindanao province.

The suspects, Almusid Karim, Ibrahim Karim, Madryu Karim, Fatima Karim, Reniel Ampuan, Jimmy Gomez, Nasser Usop Makalinggi and Cortez Esmael are now in the custody of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Combined PDEA-ARMM agents and personnel of the Maguindanao provincial police and the Army's 37th Infantry Battalion arrested them in separate raids in the town proper of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao after dawn Friday.

Juvenal Azurin, director of PDEA-ARMM, said on Saturday that the operation, carried out with warrants signed by Judge Bansawan Ibrahim of the Regional Trial Court Branch 13 in Cotabato City, also resulted in the confiscation of shabu and firearms from the eight suspects.

"These are remnants of the 'Bua' drug syndicate. They were rounded up with the help of local officials and vigilant barangay officials in Sultan Kudarat," Azurin said.

The Bua group, comprised of Iranun and Maguindanaon members, peddles shabu in the adjoining Sultan Kudarat, Sultan Mastura, Parang, Buldon, Barira and Matanog towns in the first district of Maguindanao.

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The PDEA-ARMM, the Army's 6th Infantry Division and the Maguindanao provincial police are still trying to locate the last three senior members of the group who are still at large, according to Azurin.

Azurin said the eight arrested operators of the Bua gang shall be prosecuted for violation of the Republic Act 9165, also known as the Philippine Dangerous Drugs Act, and for possession of unlicensed firearms.

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