PH DEA arrested mother and “police protected” daughter for alleged drug dealing

Diana Yu Uy being quizzed by PDEA chief Aaron Aquino. PHOTO/Marianne Bermudez

AGENTS of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency assisted by the national police and the corrections bureau have arrested jailed convicted Taiwanese drug dealer Yu Yuk Lai and her “police protected” daughter in two separate operations in Mandaluyong City and Manila on Monday, and reportedly seized nearly PhP16 million worth of illegal drugs.

According to PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino, 72-year old Yu Yuk Lai was arrested shortly before dawn inside the Correctional Institution for Women (CIW) where she is serving her sentence since the year 2000 while her 40-year old daughter, Diana Yu Uy was apprehended in her condominium unit along General Solano Street in San Miguel, Manila, just a stone throw away from Malacañang, the official residence of President Rodrigo Duterte.

This is the first time in CIW history that drug law enforcement units were able to conduct search and seizure operation inside the correctional facilities.

Aquino said the arresting teams seized 135 grams of suspected methamphetamine hydro-chloride (commonly known as shabu) concealed in 27 panty liners and with an estimated market value of PhP945,000, two kilograms of suspected shabu in plastic packs and jars with an estimated street value of PhP4.5 million, one million pieces of capsules containing suspected dangerous drugs, one million pieces of empty capsules, 19 checks with a combined amount of PhP 633,593; one blank check book, five ATM cards, one bank account with a deposit of P1,501,934.36 under the name of Anna Sy Balmeo; five mobile phones, one tablet, one pocket WIFI, unused foils and empty sachets and cash in various foreign currencies from the older Yu.

On the other hand, Aquino said, two kilos of suspected shabu with an estimated worth of PhP10 million were taken from the younger Yu by virtue of a search warrant. He also disclosed that the younger Yu is a contracted rice supplier for the CIW,

“She is one of the contracted suppliers of rice in the catering facilities of the correction where packs of shabu, and other drug contraband were secretly stashed,” Aquino said noting that the younger Yu also has a “Very Important Person” prison access which she used to visit her mother.

“Diana is using her rice retailing business in her condominium, located only a stone’s throw away from the gate of Malacañang Complex, as a front to conceal her illegal drug activities. This shows how bold the suspect is,” Aquino noted.

The PDEA is now investigating how exactly illegal drugs found their way in prison. The agency also ordered the immediate drug testing for the 180 CIW personnel.

Aquino said the mother and daughter will be charged for violation of Section 11 (Possession of Dangerous Drugs), Article II of Republic Act 9165 (the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 20020. An additional case for violation of Section 12 (Possession of Drug Paraphernalia) will also be filed against the older Yu.

All the seized bank accounts and checks during the operation will be forwarded to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) and will be subjected for financial investigation and verification because of the big amount of transactions.

Meanwhile, the PDEA also learned that the younger Yu was able to obtain security protection from the PNP Security and Protection Group which is mandate is to provide security and protection to national government officials, foreign dignitaries and certain private individuals approved by the PNP. Her security detail has been identified as Police Officer 3 Walter Vidad.

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