Floating cocaine a ploy? PNP chief says it’s too early to tell

/ 04:31 PM February 20, 2019
Suspected cocaine washes ashore in Quezon

A policeman inspects the package of suspected cocaine that was found on the shoreline of the town of Perez in Quezon province on Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019. PHOTO COURTESY OF POLICE REGIONAL OFFICE 4A

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said Wednesday that he does not see the angle of diversionary tactic yet in the blocks of cocaine found floating off the country’s eastern seaboard.

Several blocks of cocaine amounting to almost P500 million were recovered off the waters of Camarines Norte, Siargao, Dinagat islands, and the Quezon province in the recent days.


READ: PDEA: Around P500M cocaine recovered off PH waters so far in 2019

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Director General Aaron Aquino is eyeing two angles in the discoveries — either it was a ploy of drug syndicates meant to distract authorities for them to smuggle larger bulks of “shabu” (crystal meth), or it only shows that the country is being used as a transshipment point of illegal drugs.


READ: Floating cocaine could be decoy – PDEA

While not discounting the possibility that it could be a decoy, Albayalde said he does not see this angle as of this time.

“Una, yung cocaine hindi masyadong pinapatronize dito sa Pilipinas so I don’t see any diversionary tactics as of this time, not unless na ito ay diversionary and it’s intended for other countries. Pwede kasi ‘yun, diversionary tactics [‘yung cocaine and] intended ito for delivery to other countries but not necessarily here in the Philippines.”

(First, cocaine is not much patronized here in the Philippines so I don’t see diversionary tactics as of this time, not unless this is diversionary and it’s intended for other countries. It’s possible; the cocaine could be a diversionary tactic and it is intended for delivery to other countries but not necessarily here in the Philippines.)

“Pwedeng mangyari din iyon [para] magpasok ng ‘shabu’ in other places, although kung diversionary ito napakarami naman, napakalaking halaga ito para gawing diversionary tactics,” he said.

(It’s possible that they’re trying to smuggle “shabu” in other places, although if it is diversionary, this is a lot, this is too expensive for it to be considered diversionary tactics.)

Citing assessment of investigators on the ground, Albayalde said the blocks of cocaine might have been floating in the seas for a long time and was only washed ashore recently. He also said there could be more floating blocks of cocaine in the country’s waters.


Albayalde said authorities must be more vigilant for possible shipment of larger amount of illegal drugs if it is indeed true that the discoveries of cocaine was only a ploy. /je

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