Operatives of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) arrested two suspects that include a former men’s magazine model on the PDEA watchlist in separate buy-bust operations.
In a news briefing early Thursday, PDEA officer-in-charge Gregorio Pimentel identified the suspect as Charlene “Cindy” Mecayer, 24, who was nabbed Wednesday night at the Greenwood Executive Village in Barangay Sta. Ana. Taytay, Rizal for selling illegal drugs online.
Mecayer allegedly sells them on online platforms as Lazada and delivers them via transport services such as Grab.
Authorities seized suspected shabu worth P68,000 from Mecayer, three pieces of ecstasy tablet worth P4,500, the P500 buy-bust money and various drug paraphernalia.
Pimentel said Mecayer sells both the drugs and the paraphernalia and even goes to the extent of demonstrating their use on social media.
In a related development, Pimentel said suspect Emily Patanao Dudley, alias “Emily Dudley,” 60, allegedly Mecayer’s source of the illicit drugs, was arrested in Pasay City.
Seized from her was P340, 000 worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride more locally known as shabu.
Pimentel said online sales as well as transport and delivery services platforms serve the purpose of the drug trade.
“This is a new trend challenge the PDEA faces today. Illegals drugs are now rampant at the said platforms,” Pimentel told reporters at the PDEA headquarters in Quezon City.
According to Pimentel, the so-called deep and dark web now used by some drug operators in their transactions.
PDEA has sent communication to Lazada and the alleged selling of drugs and paraphernalia on its platform, he added.
The PDEA also plans to request the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board to look at the new trend as well even as the anti-drug agency compiles more evidence on the new trend.
Pimentel proposed for the online platforms to employ checking mechanism on the items delivered and sold online.
Recently, PDEA chief Aaron Aquino acknowledged that online delivery services have become the medium for drug trade.
The arrested suspects are currently detained at PDEA facing charges of violating Sections 5 and 12 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.