PDEA freezes properties of couple linked to drug trade

MANILA, Philippines — Two sets of properties belonging to people allegedly involved in the drug trade were officially frozen by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Tuesday.

PDEA said in a statement that Director General Wilkins Villanueva and Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) Executive Director Mel Georgie Racela went to two condominium units in Ortigas Center that were owned by a couple–certain  Zheng and Chen.

The two properties are:

– Unit A 906, One Corporate Center, Meralco Avenue corner Julia Vargas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig  City
– Unit A1201 and B1404, BSA Twin Towers, Bank Drive, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City

“PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva leads the Posting on Properties Subject of Preservation Order together with Executive Director Attorney Mel Georgie Racela of the Anti- Money laundering Council; PDEA Service Directors; and Anti-Money Laundering Officials and Investigators at 1:00 p.m., on Tuesday,” PDEA said.

Agency officials revealed that they sought the help of AMLC in March 2018 after a buy-bust operation in a Pasay City mall where three suspects — identified as Malina Nano, Aladin Amiril Salilagia, and Abner Nano — were arrested for selling crystal meth or shabu to undercover PDEA agents.

READ: PDEA agents nab 3 suspects in drug bust at a mall in Pasay 

After agents seized around P5-million worth of shabu, PDEA asked AMLC to provide any information on the arrested drug suspects and to conduct a financial investigation on the three.

AMLC and PDEA then used a cellphone seized during an operation to establish a link to the bank accounts: one Bank of the Philippine Islands account under a certain Aileen and Excellent Stainless Steel Corporation and a BDO Unibank account under Zhenzhen.

The Provisional Asset Preservation Order (PAPO) for the twenty (21) bank accounts and 19 condominiums of the couple were issued by Executive Judge Virgilio Macaraig of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 37.