‘Drug-free’ sign above, ‘shabu’ lab below
Were its operators just imbued with a sense of humor or were they merely trying to put authorities off their scent?
Agents of the Southern Police District (SPD) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Wednesday raided a drug laboratory located under a warehouse in Parañaque City where a sign read: “This is a drug-free workplace. Let’s keep it this way.”
Policemen stumbled on Tuesday onto the warehouse—located in a compound at Kilometer 19, East Service Road in Barangay (village) San Martin de Porres, Parañaque City—when they responded to a report about a robbery on South Superhighway.
Aside from bagging three suspected thieves, the lawmen also discovered a facility for making methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” in the basement of the abandoned warehouse.
“The police responded to a reported robbery incident but instead found … the abandoned shabu lab,” Chief Superintendent Benito Estipona, SPD director, told reporters.
Armed with search and arrest warrants, PDEA and SPD agents returned on Wednesday to the compound.
To get to the basement, they went in through the backdoor of the sprawling 100-sq m warehouse which contained a huge amount of litter, including discarded paper towels, cardboard, wooden planks and tin cans.
Corridors led to the basement which was accessible only through a single door. Once inside, the policemen found a still undetermined number of drums containing what was believed to be unprocessed shabu.
They also discovered a number of “industry-grade” flasks, burners and other drug manufacturing equipment.
“These pieces of equipment could produce about 50 to 100 kilograms of shabu per week,” said one of the PDEA members who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to speak to media about the operation.
Estipona said they were able to take the caretaker of the warehouse into custody.
Through the caretaker, the police learned that the warehouse used to store textiles and garments.
Estipona, however, said that they would also be going after the owner of the warehouse who was identified as Juanito Que.
Que reportedly leased the compound to one Annie Chua last year.
“We will be tracking these persons down. Definitely, they [should be held liable for this],” Estipona told reporters.
He added that it would probably take days for them to determine the value of the equipment and chemicals found at the warehouse. With Jamie Elona, INQUIRER.net
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