‘Floating cocaine’ breaches P1-B mark in 2 months | Inquirer News

‘Floating cocaine’ breaches P1-B mark in 2 months

By: - Reporter / @jgamilINQ
/ 07:24 AM April 10, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — More than a billion pesos worth of cocaine has already been fished off the country’s waters over the past two months, according to the Philippine National Police.

The PNP on Tuesday said the bricks of cocaine, each weighing about a kilo, had been found at sea or washed ashore since Feb. 10 and weighed a total of 217.3 kilos.

Based on a street value of P5 million per kilo estimated by the Dangerous Drugs Board, the cocaine haul so far this year has been worth P1.15 billion.


The latest find was made on Sunday, when 40 bricks worth about P257.4 million was recovered from waters off Burgos, Surigao del Norte province.


Past recoveries were made in February and March along the eastern coasts of the archipelago — in the Caraga and Davao regions in Mindanao and in the Bicol, Calabarzon and Central Luzon regions in Luzon.

Similar packaging

Authorities have yet to establish the source of the narcotics found in Burgos and why they had been left in the ocean. They noted that the packaging of the latest drug haul bore dollar signs and the name of a luxury car brand.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said the packaging was similar to the cocaine confiscated in Samar in 2009 and in Davao in 2014. Those could have come from Colombia or the Golden Triangle, it said.

Authorities said the Philippines might just be a transshipment point for cocaine intended for China, Hong Kong and Australia, or that the seaborne cocaine could have been a decoy to distract authorities from larger amounts of smuggled drugs elsewhere in the country, especially “shabu” (crystal meth), the top narcotic in the Philippines.

Last week, the PDEA said its shabu haul for the first quarter this year — 776.6 kilos worth P5.27 billion — had surpassed the combined seizures for the first quarters of 2009 to 2018.


“This is the highest recorded shabu seizure for the first three months of the year in PDEA history. It also more than doubled compared to the second highest first quarter seizure which was recorded in 2015 with 314.47 kilos worth P2.14 billion,” said Director General Aaron Aquino, PDEA chief.

The agency has confiscated billions of pesos worth of shabu in just three operations — at a warehouse in Cavite, a rented house in Muntinlupa City, and at the Manila port — from January to March.

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“These volume of seizures is an indication that we are conducting high-impact operations and hitting high-value targets,” Aquino said, adding that collaboration with foreign antidrug agencies had been strengthened.

TAGS: Aaron Aquino, floating cocaine, PDEA, war on drugs

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