Mineral thieves arrested

Operatives from the National Bureau of Investigation-Environmental Crime Division announced that they have arrested seven individuals in Tarlac City for mineral theft following a series of surveillance operations on 2 to 19 September 2022.

The NBI said that its surveillance confirmed the existence of a quarry operation located at Barangay Sta. Maria, Tarlac City and it was discovered upon verification with the local government unit and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geoscience Bureau in Region III that no quarry permits were issued within the area.

On 3 October 2022, environmental law enforcement was conducted with the assistance of the DENR-MGB Region III which resulted in the arrest of Barangay Captain Albert Mercado who was in charge of the illegal quarry operation and Barangay Councilor Arturo de la Cruz who served as the checker/collector.

Their helpers who were also sighted within the premises of the quarry operation and were identified as Joel Santos; Jesus Santos; Jessie Santos; Jonathan Santos and Jerry Espinosa.

The suspects were caught in flagrante de licto conducting a quarry operation without the necessary documents from any of the concerned government agencies. One payloader and four trucks with a total value of P1,800,000 were seized and turned over to the appropriate office.

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