₱6.8B worth of shabu from alleged Taiwan drug syndicate slipped through PH – PDEA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippins, August 10) — Philippine authorities failed to seize ₱6.8 billion-worth of illegal drugs allegedly brought inside the country by a Taiwanese drug syndicate, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said on Friday.

Magnetic scrap lifters believed to have contained approximately one ton of shabu slipped through the country and is possibly being sold in the streets now, PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino said.

"This is very saddening. ₱6.8 billion-worth of illegal drugs are now circulating anew in our streets," Aquino said in a statement.

Authorities found four magnetic scrap lifters in a warehouse in General Mariano Alvarez in Cavite on Wednesday. Traces of illegal drugs were detected in the containers with the help of PDEA's sniffer dogs.

These containers were similar to the ones found in the Manila International Container Port. The Bureau of Customs on Tuesday intercepted a shipment of suspected shabu in the port. Authorities found around 500 kilograms of illegal drugs, which was estimated at ₱4.3 billion, hidden in two magnetic scrap lifters.

"PDEA and the Philippine National Police believe that this is part of the shipment intercepted," Aquino said in a statement.

PDEA said, based on initial information, the drugs came from the Golden Triangle syndicate from Taiwan. It added Malaysia was used as a transhipment point.

The anti-drug agency has 19 persons of interest in the drug shipments, including 11 Chinese nationals. They have a copy of security footage and several business documents to find the suspects in one of the biggest drug shipments to the country.

This drug shipment is more massive than the controversial ₱6.4 billion drug haul from China, where 604-kg of shabu was brought inside the country via an express lane in the Bureau of Customs.

PDEA said it is working with its counterparts in China, Malaysia, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to help with the investigation.