‘Biggest drug haul in PH history: P11B in shabu seized in Quezon’ | Inquirer News
NBI, COPS YET TO RELEASE INVENTORY OF DRUG SEIZURE

‘Biggest drug haul in PH history: P11B in shabu seized in Quezon’

ILLEGAL SHIPMENT Police cordon off the three vans found loaded with packs of “shabu” (crystal meth) at a checkpoint in Infanta, Quezon, on Tuesday. —PHOTO COURTESY OF INFANTA VICE MAYOR LA Ruanto. STORY 3 vans carrying ‘shabu’ seized in Quezon town; 10 nabbed

ILLEGAL SHIPMENT | Police cordon off the three vans found loaded with packs of “shabu” (crystal meth) at a checkpoint in Infanta, Quezon, on Tuesday. (PHOTO COURTESY OF INFANTA VICE MAYOR LA RUANTO)

MANILA, Philippines — A government team intercepted three vans loaded with “shabu” (crystal meth) at a police checkpoint in Infanta, Quezon, early Tuesday.

In a telephone interview, Lt. Col. Joel Villanueva, Quezon provincial police chief, said operatives from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the police, and the military blocked the three vehicles at a checkpoint in Barangay Comon at 4 a.m. The 10 passengers, including the vans’ drivers, were arrested.

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Maj. Francis Andrich Garcia, Infanta police chief, said the local police set up the checkpoint purposely to intercept the vans.

Garcia said the suspects were from Tanay town in Rizal province.

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The NBI said the shabu haul which was estimated at P11 billion is considered the largest so far in the country’s history.

Seized during the interdiction operation were 1,589 tea bags with unspecified kilograms of shabu loaded in the three vans.

NBI sabu haul Quezon

Some of the 1,589 tea bags containing shabu that were seized in the NBI operation. (Contributed photo)

“Unprecedented and historic, considering the volume and amount, as of date, this is the biggest drug haul in Philippine history,” the NBI said in a statement on Wednesday.

Those arrested were identified by the NBI as Jamelanie Samsono, Reynante Alpuerto, Jenard Samson, Mark Bryan Abonita, Dante Manoso, Kennedy Abonita, Marvin Gallardo, Eugene Pandoma, Alvin Evardo Y Alonzo, and Jaymante Gallaro.

Charges for violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 are being readied against the suspects.

Meanwhile, NBI chemists and forensic experts are still conducting an inventory of the seized suspected shabu, NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin said.

NBI agents who took part in the operation were also given spot promotions by NBI Director Eric Distor.

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Appeal

Due to security reasons, the NBI sent the seized drugs to its office in Antipolo City in nearby Rizal for marking and inventory at 8:30 a.m., a police report said. The inventory was still ongoing as of Wednesday afternoon.

Infanta Vice Mayor LA Ruanto, on his Facebook page, appealed to his townmates to keep a close watch on their coastal areas to prevent the smuggling of illegal drugs.

“If you have information and knowledge that could help in tracing the origin of this kind of contraband, tell the authorities,” Ruanto said.

Police have identified northern Quezon, particularly the island towns of Polillo, Burdeos, Panukulan, Jomalig, and Patnanungan, all facing the Pacific Ocean, as critical watchpoint to prevent the entry of smuggled goods, particularly illegal drugs.

In August 2000, government forces arrested six Chinese who were smuggling 365 kilos of shabu worth P730 million in the coastal town of Sariaya off Tayabas Bay in the central part of the province.

In 2001, police and soldiers arrested then Panukulan Mayor Ronnie Mitra and his security aides at a checkpoint in Real town while transporting some 503 kilograms of shabu, worth over P1 billion and packed in several sacks, to Metro Manila using the local government’s ambulance.

In 2008, authorities also raided a shabu laboratory in Real and seized some 70 kilos of shabu with an estimated value of P300 million.

Fishermen from the island town of Perez in 2018 found 28 kilograms of cocaine worth P280 million and 16.5 liters of liquid chemical that could make about 13 kilos of shabu worth P130 million.

In 2019, on two occasions, at least 8 kilograms of high-grade cocaine were also recovered from the shore of Mauban town.

/MUF

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TAGS: Infanta drug bust, NBI, Quezon drug bust, shabu
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