By Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Norman V. Mendoza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Friday, July 19, 2013
The Nigerian businessman, who was arrested for allegedly selling shabu in Mandaue City, found himself in deeper trouble after agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) seized $3.5 million worth of shabu from his apartment in Liloan town.
Authorities yesterday raided the apartment of James Cunta Okwudili Uyanneh in barangay Yati and found 700 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu that were allegedly kept in a travelling bag inside his bedroom.
The illegal substance were packed in 14 transparent plastics pouches.
“So far, this is the largest quantity of shabu we confiscated within the year. The raid we had this morning was a follow up operation on what we had two days ago,” NBI regional director Antonio Pagatpat told reporters.
The 53-year-old Uyanneh was arrested in a buy-bust operation Tuesday inside Moonlight Lodging Inn in Mandaue City. He allegedly tried to sell 70 grams of shabu worth P350,000. He was charged with violating Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 before the Mandaue City Prosecutors’ Office yesterday afternoon.
When presented before Assistant City Prosecutor Marie Daquipil for the inquest proceedings, Uyanneh decided to undergo a preliminary investigation for him to refute the allegations. He was given 15 days to submit a counter-affidavit.
NBI Agent Bernard dela Cruz, the team leader of the operation, said they will file a separate case against Uyanneh in relation to yesterday’s raid.
Dela Cruz, in an interview, said it took them a while to locate Uyanneh’s apartment in Liloan.
Uyanneh claimed to be a resident of barangay Guadalupe in Cebu City when interviewed by reporters last Wednesday.
“We even went to a beach resort in Liloan where he reportedly lived. It was negative. We keep on looking for his residence until a concerned citizen contacted the office and claimed to be a neighbor of the suspect,” Dela Cruz said.
Uyanneh yesterday told Cebu Daily News that the packs of shabu seized from his apartment were “planted.”
“I don’t even know that they went to my house. What they got from my house were planted again,” he said.
Uyanneh, who claims to be a real estate broker in Nigeria, said he wants to get the services of a lawyer but the NBI allegedly refused to give him access to his cellular phone.
Uyanneh’s live-in partner Susan Santillan said she didn’t have any idea that her common-law husband kept shabu inside their bedroom.
“Wala gyud ko kahibaw ana. Salig ra gyud ko niya. Ang iyang baggage locked man na. Dili man ko manghilabot sa iyang gamit. We have to respect each other. Iya to, ako ni. Wala ko nag-expect nga ingon ana diay. (I really didn’t know about his illegal activities. I trusted him. The baggage where he placed the shabu was locked. I don’t touch his belongings because we respect each other. I didn’t expect that he’s keeping shabu inside our room),” she told reporters.
The couple’s neighbors gathered infront of the apartment as the authorities conducted a search.
Leonardo Asibuque, 35, claimed that Uyanneh enticed her 14-year-old daughter with sweets and money and molested her.
“I filed a complaint for child abuse against Uyanneh. The comlpaint is pending before the barangay,” he told reporters.