Cop, ex-MILF members nabbed for arms dealing

Posted at 06/28/2012 12:06 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A police officer and two former members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have been arrested in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao for illegally selling high-powered firearms, police said.

The three suspects were identified as PO1 Julkifli Gandilan Taraji, Sampang Abdulrajak and Sahara Abas. All three are residents of Panamao, Sulu.

They were caught on Tuesday after being tagged by an ex-MILF member Zainodin Antao alias “Buding,” who was arrested after a gun battle with CIDG officials last Friday.

Antao, an alleged gunrunner, told police that the group is involved in selling guns stolen from the weapons cache of the MILF in Sulu.

Recovered from the suspects were three .50 caliber sniper rifles, one M60 machine gun, three rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) rounds and propellants, a hand grenade, a .45 caliber pistol, and sixteen rounds of caliber 7.62 ammunition.

The suspects are detained at the CIDG regional office in Cotabato City and will face charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Taraji may also face administrative charges because of his affiliations with the two MILF members.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) chief Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. said the crackdown on high-powered firearms in Maguindanao is part of the agency’s efforts to prevent armed groups from acquiring loose firearms.