Maute Group branching into illegal drug business to fund terror activities

MANILA-- To fund their terroristic activities, the Maute Group has branched into the illegal drugs business aside from their extortion, kidnapping and other illegal rackets.

This was disclosed by Major Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, AFP Civil-Military Operations deputy chief-of-staff, during an ambush interview Friday.

And with their weapons and muscle, he said the terrorist group has managed to consolidate and gain control of all illegal drug operations in Marawi City transforming the locality into the largest narcotics producer in Mindanao.

When pressed for figures on Marawi City's illegal drug production, Feliciano said they have no firm figures yet but stressed the numbers are "quite substantial".

Funds obtained from this illegal business is being used to fund the group's terror activities.

Feliciano noted this state has been reached as some local government officials have been lured in this illegal activity.

Earlier, AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo AAo said they have already compiled two lists containing the names of more than 200 Maute Group supporters.

"I cannot recall the number but I think its about more than 200 names. (There are names of incumbent local) politicians, (private citizens and Maute Group members) there," he added.

These individuals will be arrested as soon as possible, AAo said.

Source: Philippines News Agency