March 21, 2019 at 01:40 am
Rio N. Araja
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency on Wednesday said the 166 kilos of shabu worth P1.1 billion seized in separate operations in Muntinlupa City could have come from the Golden Triangle.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said the confiscated drugs at the Ayala-Alabang Village and those previously seized in anti-drug operations in Mindanao had the same packaging method.
“We have seizures somewhere in Mindanao that have the same packaging. That is why we come up with an assessment that these drugs passed through our coastlines. This could be a case of ship-side smuggling coming from the Golden Triangle Region,” he said.
“Such is the signature of the Golden Triangle Region. There were seizures having the same [signature] of drugs coming from Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar. There is a big possibility that they also came from the Golden Triangle Region.”
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• Senator Panfilo Lacson was baffled how the P1.1 billion worth of shabu that was later seized in Muntinlupa City on Tuesday passed the Bureau of Customs.
“How the hell did that volume pass through Customs and the police checkpoints?’’ Lacson wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
• Senator Joel Villanueva commended the anti-narcotics agents from PDEA for their successful drug operation.
• Customs and airport authorities on Tuesday intercepted at the Central Mail Exchange in Pasay City 13 bottles containing tablets of ephedrine inside a parcel from Ontario, Canada.
The shipment owner had declared that the parcel contained a cure for asthma, but when Customs personnel assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport examined the package, 13 bottles were discovered, with each containing 50 tablets of ephedrine.
Aquino said the seized drugs tested positive for shabu.
On Tuesday, PDEA operatives conducted a buy-bust operation at the parking lot of Festival Mall that led to the arrest of three Chinese suspects and the confiscation of shabu weighing 43.5 kilos worth at least P295 million.
An hour-and-a-half later, PDEA agents led another anti-drug operation inside the upscale Ayala-Alabang Village, arrested a 19-year-old Chinese suspect and seized 123 kilos of shabu worth P839 million.
The house belonging to one Josephine Ong was being used only as a storage facility for drugs, and that it was empty of any furniture but with a small variety store at the house’s rear.
The shabu was stuffed inside tins of Chinese biscuits, Aquino said, adding the same packaging was used for drugs in other Southeast Asian countries.
He said PDEA was looking into the links between the two operations.
The buy-bust operation at Ayala-Alabang Village was one of the biggest confiscations inside high-end subdivisions, he said.
Earlier, PDEA seized blocks of cocaine found on the coastlines of Quezon, Siargao, Dinagat Islands, and Camarines to distract authorities from the entry of bigger transshipment of drugs. With Macon Ramos-Araneta and Joel E. Zurbano
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