PDEA seizes shabu with lethal amounts of oxalic acid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 11) — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said Wednesday it has seized bags of methampetamine hydrochloride (shabu) which contained lethal amounts of oxalic acid.

Oxalic acid was the substance found in the milk tea which killed two people in Manila last 2015.

"This is the first time we have experienced shabu mixed with oxalic acid as extenders," PDEA Chief Gen. Aaron Aquino told a press briefing.

The 66 grams of shabu worth ₱448,800 was seized in anti-drug operations Tuesday in an alleged drug den in Brgy. Addition Hills, Mandaluyong City.

PDEA's laboratory exams revealed the 41.5 grams of shabu had 15 grams of oxalic acid, while the remaining 15.5 grams had 3.5 grams of oxalic acid.

The Philippine National Police, in its previous investigation on the poisoned couple in 2015, said ingestion of around 10 µg/mL (micrograms per milliliter) of oxalic acid is considered dangerous.

The PNP added it will only take around 40 milligrams of the substance to poison the human body.

"Large amounts will result in kidney failure, and then death," he said.

Aquino said a certain Andrew Ureta, who was found with the substance, was arrested along with four others.