P126M-cocaine stash seized in Davao

Karlos Manlupig
Workers at a container yard discover high-grade cocaine bricks in the ceiling of a container van intended for bananas

TRANSHIPMENT POINT. Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte believes Davao is not the final destination of the seized illegal drugs. File photo by Edwin Espejo

DAVAO CITY, Philippines –  Davao police on Saturday, March 22, seized P126 million worth of high-grade cocaine bars hidden inside a container van intended for bananas.

Davao police said that while inspecting the 40-footer container van prior to loading with bananas for shipment, workers discovered cocaine bars hidden in the ceiling of the van at the Sumifru container yard in Tibungco District.

A total of 24 cocaine bars were found, but local authorities suspected that the original shipment contained at least 65 bricks and were possibly taken by some workers in the shipyard.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte immediately ordered the police to search for the missing 41 bricks and temporarily hold the workers for investigation.

Duterte asked the workers to return the cocaine bricks, and assured them that they should not worry about any punishment as they are not liable for the entry of the illegal drugs at the city’s port.

The mayor said initial investigation showed that the illegal drugs were not intended for Davao, as the city was only used as a transhipment point.

He said authorities are determining the source and the target destination of the illegal drugs.

In 2009, at least 16 kilograms of cocaine were found behind a cooling system of a container van in Sasa. The drugs were discovered after the refrigerating mechanism of the container van malfunctioned. – Rappler.com

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