PDEA files charges vs. 4 suspects over alleged shabu from empty magnetic lifters

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 29) — The government's anti-drug agency charged four people over shabu allegedly coming from empty magnetic lifters found in Cavite earlier this month.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) filed charges Wednesday at the State Prosecutor's office in Manila.

The four suspects were Chan Yee Wah Albert, Zhang Quan, Vedasto Baraquel Jr., and Maria Lagrimas Catipan.

They were charged for violating Sections 4 and 11 of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

On August 10, PDEA said authorities failed to seize ₱6.8 billion-worth of illegal drugs allegedly brought inside the country by a Taiwanese drug syndicate.

Authorities alleged the illegal drugs were transported inside four magnetic scrap lifters they found in a warehouse in General Mariano Alvarez in Cavite on August 8.

These containers were similar to the ones found in the Manila International Container Port. The Bureau of Customs on August 7 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.

On August 11, the Bureau of Customs said they were not alerted about a the shipment.

In a speech on August 17, President Rodrigo Duterte dismissed the reports as "pure speculation."

Duterte told PDEA officials to not speculate on drug hauls next time.

"You cannot speculate that you recovered containers. They are not containers but the magnetic [lifters]," he said.