Big-time ‘Ecstasy’ pusher nabbed
- Mike Frialde () - April 25, 2002 - 12:00am
An undocumented Chinese, believed to be the major source of the designer drug Ecstasy, was nabbed by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila, over the weekend.

Seized from Jia Li, 24, of 558 Tomas Mapua Street, Binondo, Manila, were 600 tablets of the drug, which is also known as Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

MDMA has no approved medical use in the United States and was discovered in Germany in 1913 and patented by a pharmaceutical company in 1914. It was intended as a weight-loss (anorectic) drug, but because of its side-effects MDMA was never marketed.

Ecstasy has fast become popular as a designer drug among rich teenagers who frequent rave dance parties. An expensive "upper," each Ecstasy tablet costs at least P1,400, said the NBI.

According to an NBI insider, Jia was arrested following the arrest of another Ecstasy pusher who pointed him as the source of the drug.

Following this, NBI agents conducted intensive surveillance and engaged Jia in several test buys. On April 19, an undercover NBI agent posed as a buyer and ordered 600 of the tablets.

The NBI said, Jia met the agent at SM Manila where he exchanged the drugs for marked cash. However, Jia noticed the agents and fled to his house where he was later arrested.

Seized from him were the Ecstasy tablets with brands "G2000," "Yellow Tower," "Peach Mango Pie," and "Green Marijuana."

NBI insiders said Jia smuggled the drugs inside stuffed toys from Singapore. He distributes the drugs nationwide using shopping malls as points of transaction. Payment for the drugs is made through banks, the NBI said.

NBI sources are also looking into the possibility that Jia supplied some actors and actresses with Ecstasy tablets.

NBI director Reynaldo Wycoco said Jia has refused to cooperate with the NBI and identify his overseas contact for fear of the safety of his family in Xiamen, China.

GREEN MARIJUANA JIA JIA LI NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION NBI ON APRIL PEACH MANGO PIE REYNALDO WYCOCO TOMAS MAPUA STREET UNITED STATES
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