The southern Philippine island of Basilan, a lair of the Abu Sayyaf bandit group, has become a major transit point for illegal drug shipments from the “Golden Triangle” in Indochina. Aside from acting as protector of foreign drug trafficking syndicates, the Abu Sayyaf also controls a “thriving marijuana production post,” the Manila Times on-line news Wednesday quoted Sakib Salajin,Mayor of Maluso town in Basilan, as saying.
Salajin said his office has compiled “substantial evidence” of
drug trafficking activities there, but no funds or personnel are
available to plug the problem. Local appeals for help in stopping
the drug menace have “fallen on deaf ears.” Basilan police director Bensali Jabarani confirmed Salajin’s words, “Drugs are a major source of Abu Sayyaf funds.” He added that besides drugs from the Golden Triangle, marijuana grown in Basilan is exported to nearby city of Zamboanga and other parts of Mindanao in the south. Basilan is already known as “Little
Outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMG’s) from Cebu or Manila like the notorious “Outlaws 1%” Brotherhood, a foreign dominated one-percenter motorcycle gang and organized crime syndicate, are key players in the local and national illegal drug trade according to international intelligence reports.
The FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive#453, Taco Bowman, known World Leader of the AOA, in prison since 1999 for three murders, was the international president of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.
In March 2007 the “Outlaws” Gang started its first chapter in the Philippines with one of the most dangerous foreign criminals in the country, notorious gang leader Harry Siegel from Alcoy, Cebu (picture above).
The report also quoted other police sources as admitting that
the marijuana farms of Basilan are in the remote central highlands.
Intensive campaigns can be launched to uproot the marijuana
plantations once the Abu Sayyaf group is wiped out from the area.
Firefights burst out on Tuesday between the military and Abu
Sayyaf members in Basilan. It is reportedly the first major clash
between the military and the bandits since the joint exercises
entered the battlefield training phase in mid-February.
About 660 U.S. soldiers, including 160 special forces, are
joining thousands of local troops in the exercises in the central
and southern Philippines to help crush the Abu Sayyaf group who is still holding an American couple and a Filipino nurse.