By Jel Santos
Party drugs and marijuana worth a total of P1.6 million were seized in a buy-bust operation inside a bar in Makati City past midnight on Saturday, police said. Thirty-one employees of the establishment were arrested.
Chief Superintendent Tomas Apolinario Jr., Southern Police District (SPD) director, told The Manila Bulletin that an employee of Times Bar in Makati allegedly sold a party drug to an undercover agent of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU).
“A Makati police DEU agent transacted with a party drug peddler. They were about to meet at a place in Makati, but he told our man for them to do the transaction at Times Bar,” Apolinario said.
“They met at the bar. Then, the employee/peddler introduced the undercover agent to the manager who transacted with him,” he added.
It was around 2 a.m. when Times Bar manager, Danilo “Danny” Regino, allegedly accepted the marked money from the undercover cop at the bar located on Makati Avenue, Barangay Poblacion, Makati, Apolinario said.
He said it was the manager who was the source of illegal drugs, and that his bouncers and waiters served as drug peddlers.
“We arrested all the 31 employees of Times Bar,” he said.
Seized during the drug sting were 18 sachets of cocaine; 15 capsules of ecstasy; four ecstasy tablets; a sachet of high-grade marijuana; and a caliber-.38 revolver.
The seized cocaine had a street value of P1.575 million while the ecstasy drugs amounted to P142,500. Police also retrieved the P22,500 in marked money.
Police also rounded up 123 customers of the bar at the time of the raid and invited them for questioning at the police station. All of them, including 57 foreigners, were sent home as of press time yesterday afternoon.
Apolinario said there were two vaults at the bar, but Regino refused to open them.
“We are now securing a search warrant so that we could open the two vaults. We suspect that the vaults contain bulk of cocaine,” the SPD chief said.