PDEA: Around P500M cocaine recovered off PH waters so far in 2019
MANILA, Philippines (Updated) – Around P500 million worth of cocaine were fished out the country’s waters so far this year, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino said Tuesday.
In the recent days, blocks of cocaine worth millions of pesos were recovered off the waters of Camarines Norte, Siargao, Dinagat islands, and Quezon province. Some of the cocaine were found by fishermen and later surrendered to the police.
Data from the Philippine National Police showed the recovered blocks of cocaine so far this year weigh 92.7 kilograms and costs P491,254,226.
Aquino suspects the blocks of cocaine recently found floating near the shorelines could only be a strategy of drug syndicates to distract authorities and smuggle larger bulks of illegal drugs.
“Itong 2019 alone ‘yung mga sites ng discoveries [for cocaine], amounting to more or less nasa P500 million na (In 2019 alone, at the sites of discoveries, we have recovered cocaine amounting to more or less P500 million already) ,” he told Radyo Inquirer on Tuesday.
“Isang anggulo [na tinitingnan natin] is they are trying to divert the attention of government forces para maipalusot ang mas malaking shipment, most likely shabu kasi iyon ang may market ng drugs sa Pilipinas,” he said.
(One angle we are looking into is they are trying to divert the attention of government forces to smuggle a larger shipment, most likely crystal meth because it has a market here in the Philippines.)
Aquino said there are “suspicious events” on the consecutive discoveries of cocaine, as he suspects that drug syndicates will not allow those illegal drugs to be wasted for nothing.
“There should be answers to this. Kaya nga nakikita namin na diversionary tactics lang ito para mapahuli ‘yung maliit, mapalusot ‘yung mas malaki (That’s why we see that this is only a diversionary tactic for the small amount of illegal drugs to be caught, but for larger amount to be smuggled),” he said.
Aquino also said that the country might only be being used as a trans-shipment point for the illegal drugs to be delivered to other countries, since cocaine is not commonly used here because of its expensive price. /je
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