MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A thousand kilograms (kg) of shabu slipped past authorities in the Philippines, despite the coordinated efforts of its biggest anti-illegal drugs agencies: the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
In a press conference on Friday, August 10, officials from the agencies presented 4 magnetic lifters similar to the ones presented just days before at the Manila International Container Terminal which contained 500 kg of shabu.
The new ones were found in a warehouse inside CRS Subdivision, Barangay F. Reyes in General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite.
The difference? These newly found metal lifters were already empty.
"We estimated that these 4 magnetic lifters contained approximately 1,000 kg of shabu with an estimated value of P6.8 billion," the joint statement of the agencies said.
PDEA used drug-sniffing dogs to confirm that the metals were used to contain drugs – illegal substances which may already be circulating in the country's streets.
Authorities also raised the possibility that the drugs were already smuggled to another country, considering that the Philippines is a transshipment point in the world drug trade.
The PDEA believes that a certain international drug group, the Golden Triangle Syndicate is behind the shipment, with the drugs believed to be coming from Taiwan and China.
Confining their probe inside the country, the PDEA and PNP have listed "at least 19" persons of interest, which includes 11 Chinese.