19 policemen who arrested Chinese drug traffickers relieved
MANILA, Philippines—Nineteen policemen who arrested two escaped Chinese drug traffickers last week in San Juan were relieved from their posts while being investigated for allegedly failing to turn over up to P20 million in cash and illegal drugs seized during the raid.
Chief Superintendent Francisco Uyami Jr., chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said an administrative relief order was imposed on the 19-member team of CIDG that rearrested Chinese drug traffickers Li Lan Yan, a.k.a Jackson Dy, and Wang Li Na last Friday at their rented apartment in San Juan City.
The couple, along with another Chinese convict, Li Tian Hua, escaped detention last February 20. Fourteen men, believed to be members of the notorious Ozamis robbery gang, snatched the convicts from jail guards, who were supposed to bring them to a court hearing in Cavite that day.
They were convicted in a 2008 drug case.
Undeclared money, drugs
The order to relieve the members of the arresting team came following allegations from a supposed witness that the arresting team did not declare in their report that there was roughly P15 million to P20 million cash, and around 80 kilos of shabu confiscated during the raid.
Uyami said an investigation team has been formed to look into the allegation.
“I really want to know because everything that is confiscated in relation to the arrest of the fugitives, especially if it’s contraband such as drugs, firearms, smuggled items found at the crime scene, should be turned over. That’s why I also wanted an investigation on that so we can know the truth,” Uyami said in Filipino.
When he arrived at the area after the convicts were taken into custody, Uyami said he asked his men if there were drugs recovered at the scene, considering that the Chinese couple were drug traffickers, but his men said there weren’t any.
“What I saw there were personal belongings—clothes, bed, TV… In the kitchen there was ref—the barest minimum is what I saw there,” he said, noting that he arrived at the location about two hours after the couple were arrested.
He said the CIDG members promised to cooperate in the investigation.
Meanwhile, Li Lan Yan in a radio interview denied there were any illegal drugs confiscated from their house during the raid, adding the jar that was seized actually contained sugar and not shabu.
Move to ‘discredit’ PNP?
For his part, PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima said that while an investigation was underway, he would not rule out the possibility it was just an attempt to discredit the PNP.
“They want to destroy the reputation of those involved [in the operation] because if there are no more operatives, who else would work against them,” Purisma said in Filipino even as he stressed that the case would be thoroughly investigated.
“But we wouldn’t let them be dishonored just like that. We will find out the truth. And where the offense is, let the great axe fall,” he said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.