A compound in Caloocan City where high-powered firearms and stolen vehicles were recovered during a police raid on Saturday afternoon was described as a “trading post” for illegal drugs and other criminal activities.
Superintendent Jackie Candelario, Caloocan police spokesperson, said the area in Phase 12, Tala, had long been a hotbed of criminal activities.
“The Caloocan police raided the area some years ago but they found nothing,” he added in a phone interview.
However, the compound came to the police’s attention once more after they received a tip that several men had been spotted entering and leaving it while carrying high-powered firearms.
In addition, they were informed that it served as a “warehouse” of sorts for stolen vehicles.
“We particularly learned that the criminals were using it as a ‘barter area’ for the illegal drug trade,” Candelario said. “Instead of money, these people used stolen vehicles and valuables as payment for drugs.”
Despite the rampant drug trade in the area, Candelario said an initial investigation showed that the 17 persons who were arrested, some of them with outstanding arrest warrants, were not part of any big-time criminal group.
Members of the Caloocan police and Northern Police District jointly raided the compound in Barangay 188 on Saturday as part of their “Oplan Galugad” and “Oplan Katok” programs aimed at cracking down on criminal groups and reducing the crime rate in the second-largest city in the metropolis.
Seized during the operation were 11 firearms, including three cal. .38 revolvers, a cal. .45 pistol; a 9 mm pistol, an M-14 rifle, two M-16 rifles, three 12-gauge shotguns and seven magazines loaded with M-14 and M-16 bullets.
The police also confiscated 34 motorcycles which initially appeared to have been stolen, along with a Honda Civic without license plates.
A video karera machine and a set of weighing scales, along with drug paraphernalia, were also found.