P15M shabu seized in women’s jail, condo raids

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Correctional Institution for Women inmate inmate Yu Yuk Lai (left) and her daughter Diana Yu, and some of the drugs seized during Monday's operations. (photos by Non Alquitran and Kriz John Rosales, PhilStar)

MANILA, Philippines — Government agents seized more than P15 million worth of crystal meth, or “shabu,” from an inmate of the Correctional Institutional for Women in Mandaluyong City and her daughter, who conducted her illicit operations in a condominium a stone’s throw away from Malacañang Palace.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director general Aaron Aquino, whose agency spearheaded the operation with the Philippine National Police and Bureau of Corrections, said Taiwanese Yuk Lai Yu, 72, who uses the aliases Yuk Lai Sze and Anna Sy Balmeo, has been jailed at the CIW since 2000 on drug charges.

The search of her cell early Monday yielded two kilos of shabu in plastic packs and jars and another 135 grams of the drug concealed in 27 pantyliners – all worth close to P5.5 million – a million capsules believed to contain drugs, another million empty capsules, cash and checks worth more than P2 million, ATM cards, mobile phones and other gadgets.

Three hours later, the agents raided Unit 3D of the Jy J Condominium on General Solano St., San Miguel, Manila where they arrested Yuk’s daughter, Diana Yu, and seized more than two kilos of shabu worth some P10 million.

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

Aside from this, Diana is also a contracted rice supplier of the CIW and enjoyed VIP access to the detention facility.

Aquino ordered drug tests for the CIW’s 180 employees.

Aside from the criminal charges to be filed against Yuk and her daughter, the money and checks seized from the inmate will be submitted to the Anti-Money Laundering Council for investigation.