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PDEA goes after bank accounts of drug traders

Emmanuel Tupas - The Philippine Star
PDEA goes after bank accounts of drug traders
Wilkins Villanueva, PDEA director general, said the agency is gearing up for a holistic approach to ridding the country of illegal drugs in partnership with the Anti-Money Laundering Council.
pna.gov.ph / Jigger J. Jerusalem

MANILA, Philippines — Aware of the fact that an unmitigated flow of drug money is the lifeblood of drug traffickers, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is now going after the bank accounts of drug dealers  and targeting the financial instruments and assets accumulated by members of drug syndicates.

Wilkins Villanueva, PDEA director general, said the agency is gearing up for a holistic approach to ridding the country of illegal drugs in partnership with the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

The PDEA, he added, marked the first month of the administration of President Marcos with strategic moves designed to decisively dismantle drug trafficking in the country and citing, as example, the freezing of a property owned by former Ozamiz City vice mayor Nova Princess Parojinog last month.

“We can’t stick to the traditional cat-and-mouse games. We need to show that we are on top of the situation,” Villanueva said.

The PDEA marked its 20th anniversary last June with the destruction of P14.29 billion worth of illegal drugs. On the same day, its operatives also seized 80 kilos of shabu worth P544 million.

Villanueva said they are seeking to enhance the skills of their investigators in handling case buildups, in anticipation of more financial cases that may be related to drug trafficking.

The PDEA also sought the support of the Australian Federal Police, one of its longest and closest western counterparts, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding last Aug. 5.

Villanueva said that drug traffickers are mistaken if they think the government would loosen its grip on the anti-drug campaign after former president Rodrigo Duterte stepped down from office.

“The Duterte administration had ended, but what remains of those involved in drug trafficking are very much mistaken if they think that we will now ease the pressure,” he stressed.

PDEA

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