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Two Men Nabbed for Selling Crystal Meth on a Dating App

The suspects used fake accounts and code words in chat messages.
October 18, 2019, 7:22am
Man using his phone
For illustrative purposes only. Photo by mehdi lamaaffar on Unsplash

Dating apps have become very popular in recent years and while they’re mostly good fun, they’ve also become sites for some shady dealings. In the Philippines, for example, authorities just nabbed two men who allegedly sold crystal meth through a dating app.

Suspects Rowell Pagsolingan, a 34-year old nurse, and Ralph Duran, 33 years old, were arrested during a buy-bust operation in Quezon City on Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. They reportedly sold the drugs by creating fake accounts in a dating app marketed to the gay community.

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Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bilaro, station commander of the Quezon City Police District’s Project 4, told reporters that they were tipped off by a confidential informant. They then assigned a police officer to go undercover and create a fake profile on the same app. Through messages with the suspects, police discovered that they used code words like “rocket or missile” in referring to the drug.

The undercover cop set a deal with Pagsolingan who agreed to link up in front of his house in Quezon City. Posing as a buyer, the police officer purchased PHP1,000 ($ 19.47) worth of crystal meth from the two suspects.

Police then arrested the suspects on the spot and seized two sachets of crystal meth from them that weighed around 4.05 grams (0.14 ounces). The drugs had an estimated street value of PHP27,540 ($534.72).

The two men are now under police custody and will be charged with violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. When asked if they were dealers, both suspects told reporters: “We don’t sell.”

According to the police, both suspects were recently identified as drug personalities in their respective towns. Authorities are now looking into the duo’s illicit activity through the dating app while further investigation is ongoing to trace the suspects’ source of illegal drugs.

Conversion rate: PHP1 = $0.019

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