By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY – A Pakistani national, who was arrested by lawmen on Monday in General Santos City on suspicion of being an illegal drug dealer, is now undergoing more intense interrogation to determine if he is among the local financiers of the Islamic State (IS), an official said Tuesday.
Shahzad Khan, also known as Salman Khan, was arrested on Monday in Barangay San Isidro in Gen. Santos City by agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
Gil Cesario Castro, director of PDEA-12, said they have strong suspicion that Khan has links with local militant blocs claiming association or allegiance to the IS.
He said PDEA agents recovered from Khan’s hideout P50,000 worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), which they will use as evidence to prosecute him for violation of the Philippine Dangerous Drugs Act.
An accomplice of Khan, named as Anjelie Mawani Osama, was also arrested during the raid, Castro said.
PDEA-12 agents have arrested, in the past three months, more than 10 shabu peddlers reportedly belonging to the Ansar Al-Khilafa, a suspected tentacle of the IS in the Philippines, notably in central Mindanao.
“We are still trying to join together the pieces of the jigsaw. Our investigation and intelligence gathering on this is being done with the help of the police, the military and the local government units in Region 12,” Castro said.
Castro said vigilant local officials in the region are helping provide information on the drug trafficking activities of violent religious extremists identified with local groups using the IS flag as revolutionary banner.
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