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PNP confirms P475-M cocaine find

The chief of the Philippine National Police confirmed on Saturday that bricks of a white crystalline substance, which had been found floating off the shores of Siargao and Dinagat islands by fishermen and police, had tested positive for cocaine.

PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde, however, said police intelligence suggested that the cocaine, which weighed around 88 kilograms and amounted to nearly half a billion pesos, was not meant to enter Philippine markets.

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“The initial analysis is that these were transient,” Albayalde said. “These recovered drugs really weren’t for the Philippines.”

According to the PNP chief, the cocaine shipment was likely temporarily parked here and meant to be shipped to another country at some point, although he could not say which one.

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“Although it (cocaine) is being used here, because of its price, it’s not too popular here. That’s why the most common is still ‘shabu’ (crystal meth),” he said.

Albayalde added that the blocks of cocaine were probably connected to a global positioning system that had broken off at some point, a modus operandi that the PNP had observed off the coast of Camarines Norte in 2018.

Police in the town of Cagdianao had discovered blocks of cocaine on the shore of Sitio Habongan, Dinagat, as early as Tuesday last week.

The discovery prompted a series of follow-up operations that yielded 13 more bricks of the drug.

Police in San Isidro town, Surigao del Norte, found 27 bricks of cocaine on Thursday, which also led to follow-up operations on Friday.

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Overall, more than 70 blocks of cocaine have been found in the operations. The entire haul was worth at least P457,125,000.

A Surigao del Norte lawmaker on Saturday called on Philippine antidrug authorities to dig deeper into the links to narcopoliticians of the cocaine blocks.

Rep. Robert Ace Barbers on Sunday asked the PNP and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to track down the intended recipients of the 77 cocaine blocks.

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TAGS: Cocaine Bust, Oscar Albayalde, PNP‎, war on drugs
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