A British man and his Filipina girlfriend have been arrested after 70 marijuana plants worth five million pesos were found in their Subic apartment.
Senior Superintendent Felix Verbo, director of the Zambales Provincial Police Office, has identified the suspects as Simon Stuart Mclaren Watson, aged 42, and Rizza Fernandez, 28, who were living in a rented flat in the Santo Tomas area of the city.
The early-morning buy-bust operation today (Friday, January 11) was conducted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and Zambales Provincial Police Office.
Sr. Supt. Verbo said the marijuana plants were found growing under lights in two bedrooms of the house.
He added that the plants were Kush, a strain of marijuana originally from Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. The name is derived from the Hindu Kush mountain range.
PDEA Regional Director Gil Pabilona said the suspects were put under surveillance for a month after a tip-off from neighbours that the premises was being used to sell drugs to foreigners.
After gathering sufficient evidence, the police and PDEA, together with local government and barangay officials, prepared a buy-bust operation.
Watson allowed an undercover agent to enter his property and allegedly sold him a quantity of the drug. After this was done, the arrests were made.
Fernandez, who is originally from Mindoro Occidental, denied ever smoking marijuana. She said the plants were for the personal use of Watson to cure his asthma and alleviate a spinal injury he sustained two years ago.
The couple remain in the custody of the PDEA as charges are prepared against them.
City mayor Jay Khonghun has lauded the operation and said he hoped Subic would reach a drug-free status within the next few years.
As we reported last month, a Swiss man was arrested in Panglao for possession of a single marijuana plant. However, police were later forced to admit that the potted-plant belonging to Maik Kruesi was not in fact cannabis. The 32-year-old was later released from custody without charge.
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P5M WORTH OF MARIJUANA FOUND IN SUBIC TOWN By Jonas ReyesSUBIC TOWN, ZAMBALES – Marijuana plants worth P5 million were nabbed by the Zambales Provincial Police Office (ZPPO) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Region 3 (PDEA 3) at a residence at the Magdalena Homes of this town early Friday morning.The custodians of these plants were identified as 42-year-old British national Simon Stuart Mclaren Watson and his 28-year-old live-in Filipina partner Rizza Fernandez. ZPPO director Senior Superintendent Felix Astrero Verbo Jr. stated that there were around 70 pots of Kush worth P5 million. Kush is a strain of Cannabis indica. The origins of Kush Cannabis are from landrace plants mainly in Afghanistan, Northern Pakistan and North-Western India with the name coming from the Hindu Kush mountain range.Fernandez said that the plants were for personal use since Watson has an asthma problem and spine injury two years ago. But the Mindoro Occidental native denied that she was using the plant.Mayor Jay Khonghun lauded the drug-bust operation and hopes that the municipality of Subic will reach a drug-free status in the next few years.
Posted by Zambales Herald News Online on Thursday, January 10, 2019