Canadians nabbed in drug raid want search warrant quashed
The two Canadians arrested in a drug raid on a luxury condominium in Makati City have asked a court to quash the search warrant that led to their arrests.
Munib Amsan, the lawyer of James Clayton Riach and Ali Memar Mortazvi Shirazi, filed the motion on Monday in the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 135 after the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge of illegal drug possession.
Judge Josephine Advento-Vito Cruz, meanwhile, gave the public prosecutor 10 days to respond to Amsan’s motion.
The foreigners were arrested on Jan. 15 in a raid conducted by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents at the Gramercy Residences on Kalayaan Avenue. Simultaneous operations conducted by the bureau on The Luxe Residences and One Serendra condominiums in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, led to the seizure of P100 million worth of “shabu” or methamphetamine hydrochloride, cocaine and ecstasy pills.
In the 38-page motion filed in court, the pair’s lawyer asked the judge to quash the search warrant which paved the way for the Gramercy raid which led to his clients’ arrest.
He alleged that the warrant issued by Makati RTC Branch 137 Judge Ethel Mercado-Gutay “miserably failed to meet the requirement of probable cause.”
“Its issuance was founded on inherently incredible and inadmissible evidence, consciously and deliberately resorted to by the applicant investigators of the NBI,” the lawyer said.
According to the NBI, they raided Gramercy after they bought drugs from Riach in a test-buy operation on Jan. 8. Amsan, however, said the NBI only made up this claim as he cited “serious inconsistencies” in its submitted statement.
At the same time, he asked the court the following: Declare as “inadmissible evidence” the items seized in the raid “for being products of an illegal and invalid search warrant,” inspect the raided condominium unit and order the Gramercy administration to produce the condominium’s security camera footage from Jan. 7 to 9.
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.