Latin America

Magnetic lifters found in Cavite test negative for shabu

Rambo Talabong
Magnetic lifters found in Cavite test negative for shabu
(UPDATED) Customs chief Isidro Lapeña contradicts the claim of PDEA that one ton of shabu worth P6.8 billion were inside the magnetic lifters

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The 4 giant magnetic lifters, which were suspected to have contained illegal drugs, have tested negative from swab testing, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) announced on Tuesday, August 14.

Speaking at the House hearing on the alleged P6.8-billion worth of shabu (methamphetamine), BOC chief Isidro Lapeña said they conducted the swab testing with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police. (READ: How P6.8-B ‘shabu’ slipped past PNP, PDEA, Customs)

Because of this, Lapeña said the PDEA “has no basis” to claim that illegal drugs got past the BOC’s screening.

PDEA’s basis: PDEA earlier said the illegal drugs were traced through their shabu-sniffing dogs, which sat down as a sign that they traced illegal drugs.

PDEA chief Director General Aaron Aquino explained in an earlier media briefing that the lifters contained illegal drugs because they matched the earlier intercepted lifters, which carried 500 kilograms.

“It’s just the same. The same, exactly the same. It’s magnetic lifter, which has a power supply. It also has cables, the same cables. The color of these magnetic lifters, the same,” Aquino said in a mix of English and Filipino during the briefing on the empty containers on Friday, August 10.

Aquino could not personally defend his agency’s findings because he was absent during the House probe’s pilot hearing. – Rappler.com

Watch the hearing here: 
LIVE: House hearing on P6.8-billion shabu smuggled from China, Taiwan 

Read other stories from the hearing: 

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.