Drug smugglers becoming bolder: Malacañang

MANILA — Malacañang on Saturday described drug manufacturers and smugglers as “bolder” after a recent report which showed PHP6.8 billion worth of “shabu” from an alleged Taiwan syndicate had recently slipped past the Bureau of Customs (BoC).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said he believed manufacturers and smugglers were becoming bolder because their supply was dwindling due to the ongoing crackdown on drugs.

“We view the latest reported foreign drug shipment as a sign that big-timer drug manufacturers and smugglers are becoming bolder with a dwindled local supply as they feel the pressure from the government’s campaign against illegal drugs,” Roque said in a press statement.

Roque, meanwhile, assured that the government will get to the bottom of the case.

“Our authorities are now working with their foreign counterparts to help with the probe,” he added.

On Friday, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said billions worth of shabu might be circulating on the streets now after the agency seized four empty magnetic lifters from a warehouse in Cavite.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said the magnetic lifters in Cavite were already empty but K9 dogs have positively detected traces of illegal drugs.

“This is very saddening, PHP6.8 billion worth of illegal drug are now circulating anew in our streets,” Aquino noted.

Aquino said initial information revealed that the illegal drugs came from Taiwan, Republic of China and the syndicate only used Malaysia as transshipment point.

He also believed that the Golden Triangle Syndicate, notoriously known as the world’s foremost drug-producing region, is behind the shipment.

Meanwhile, he said law enforcers are continuously conducting backtracking investigations to determine the personalities involved in the operation.

Initially, Aquino said PDEA has at least 19 persons of interest including 11 Chinese nationals but could not reveal any names yet.

Aquino, however, said PDEA has obtained several documents, including various checks, shipping documents and CCTV footage.

PDEA is also in close coordination with its international counterparts from China, Malaysia and even United States Drug Enforcement Administration to help in the probe, he added. Azer Parrocha/PNA – northboundasia.com