Jailed drug lord caught selling ‘shabu’ publicly with guards’ help
A drug lord sentenced to life and is now behind bars was still lording it over with his jail guards for security escorts until agents of the National Bureau of Investigation arrested him in a buy-bust operation on Friday.
He was selling shabu to NBI undercover agents outside the Sablayan Penal Colony in Palawan province where he was supposed to be in prison.
NBI Director Virgilio Mendez identified the drug lord as Ruben Tiu, also known as Ruben Go and Mr. Ong. Tiu was convicted in 2004 and was sentenced to life in prison.
Also arrested was a jail guard who escorted Tiu to the drug deal. Mendez declined to name the jail guard, as the investigation is going on.
Three other jail guards who were also Tiu’s escorts escaped as NBI agents pounced on the drug lord. They are being hunted by the authorities.
Mendez said shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) that Tiu was selling to two female undercover agents was seized during the buy-bust operation that took place on Sablayan highway, 2 kilometers away from the penal colony.
The shabu was worth P1 million, Mendez said.
Under questioning, Tiu said he got the shabu from a supplier in New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City. He said he bought the shabu for P900,000.
The NBI busted a thriving drug trade in the national penitentiary last year, leading to the transfer of convicted drug lords to NBI headquarters in Manila.
Mendez said Tiu’s arrest came after a long surveillance operation.
The breakthrough came when Tiu agreed to sell shabu to buyers outside the penal colony, Mendez said.
He said that at first Tiu wanted the buyers to come to the penal colony. But made to understand that that was risky for the buyers, Tiu suggested that he meet the buyers on the highway—and that proved to be his undoing, as the buyers turned out to be undercover agents.
An agent involved in the operation said the site of the arrest was at least two hours away from the nearest port where the agents and their captives took a ferry to Batangas province.
“We felt that luck was really on our side because we were allowed to board the ferry with the suspects and our vehicles on short notice, and we were able to elude our pursuers who were called by the arrested jail guard,” the agent said.
The agent explained that the jail guard had asked to be allowed to call his wife. Out of compassion, the agents agreed but the wife apparently called for reinforcements.
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