Over 2 tons of ‘shabu’ worth P13B intercepted in Batangas

Over 2 tons of 'shabu' worth P13B intercepted in Batangas

The bundles of illegal drugs seized in Batangas. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

LUCENA CITY — Police foiled early Monday, April 15, the transit of more than two tons of “shabu” (crystal meth) in Alitagtag town in Batangas province.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said the seized shabu has an estimated value of more than P13.3 billion.

“This is the biggest drug bust in the history of the country,” Abalos told newsmen in an impromptu press conference held along the highway in Barangay Pinagkrusan where the illegal drugs were intercepted aboard a van around 8 a.m.

The seizure of the illegal drugs eclipsed the confiscation of 1,589 tea bags of shabu worth P11 billion in Infanta, Quezon in March 2022.

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Abalos said the driver of the van was arrested and was placed under police custody.

The van was bound for Parañaque City when flagged down at a checkpoint in Pinagkrusan by local cops under Captain Luis de Luna Jr., Alitagtag police chief.

Abalos hailed De Luna for the successful “intelligence-driven” operation, which resulted in the interception of the illegal drugs. He said De Luna would be promoted to the next rank.

The Police Region 4A, citing a report from Alitagtag police, said a team of local cops, while conducting a checkpoint, flagged down around 9 a.m. a Foton passenger van (CBM5060) along the highway in Pinagkurusan. The van came from Sta. Teresita town going to the direction of Lipa City.

The report said driver Alajon Michael Zarate, 47, a resident of Quezon City, was unable to present his driver’s license and appeared “uneasy and uncomfortable.”

The police noticed that the cargo at the back of the vehicle was covered with a “tolda.” When the driver was asked to remove the cover, what were exposed were several sacks and plastic containers.

Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos (center) is joined by PNP Chief Rommel Franciso Marbil (2nd from right) and other officials as they inspect the seized illegal drugs. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS

After close inspection, the containers have big plastic bags inside containing white crystalline substances believed to be shabu.

Lieutenant Coronel Chitadel Gaoiran, PRO4A public information officer, said the “seized shabu weighed more or less two tons as estimated by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.”

“It is only an estimate. The inventory is still ongoing,” Gaoiran said in a chat message around 3:30 p.m.

READ: Shabu worth P3.4 million seized in Batangas port

The press conference was also attended by Major General Rommel Marbil, Philippine National Police chief, Batangas Gov. Hermilando mandanas and other police officials.

Abalos and other police officials begged off from answering further questions from newsmen saying a follow-up operation was ongoing. INQ