PDEA: “FLOATING COCAINE” A DIVERSIONARY TACTIC

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The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said the “floating cocaine” recovered in the country’s territorial water was a diversionary trick of drug syndicates to smuggle illegal drugs into the country.

PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said, “The floating cocaine incidents are merely diversionary tactics. While all government forces are focused on operations to retrieve the floating cocaine, we believe drug syndicates may take the opportunity to smuggle shabu.

They were willing to sacrifice P125 million worth of cocaine to smuggle P11.15 billion worth of shabu. It is because the Philippines is not a cocaine-consuming country. The number one drug of choice here is shabu.” Aquino said the country is just being a transshipment point for illegal drugs with international drug syndicates dumping cocaine in our waters considering the lose security in our vast and porous shorelines.

“Cocaine is not a drug of choice here in the Philippines, but of countries like Australia, mainland China and Hongkong. While the government has reinforced anti-drug efforts in airports and seaports, drug syndicates have now resorted to ship side smuggling of illegal drugs through our unguarded coastlines,” the PDEA chief pointed out.

Aquino said these are the two angles being considered by PDEA on the recent discovery of floating cocaine in Camarines Norte, Dinagat Islands, and Siargao from February 10-19, 2019. PDEA is now conducting a thorough coordination with its foreign counterparts to determine the source(s) of the recovered cocaine.

Coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Coast Guard will also be prioritized to address the problem The recovered cocaine will be turned over to PDEA to determine the country of source and the method of its production, as the PDEA Laboratory Service has the capacity to conduct drug impurity profiling of cocaine.

The 40 bricks of cocaine recovered off the waters of Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte had the label “3B BUGATTI. A few days earlier, the 48 bricks of cocaine retrieved off the waters of Dinagat Island had the label “$”.

Both have the same inside packaging labelled as “$”. Authorities previously recovered a brick of cocaine washed ashore in Vinzon, Camarines Norte labelled as “LEXUS” which was found to have a global positioning system (GPS), a device used by drug syndicates to locate these illegal drugs without difficulty.

In 2009, the cocaine recovered in Samar were labelled as BMW, AUDI, TAMARAW, PELIGRO, and COCA COLA while the cocaine recovered in Sumifru Yard in Davao City in 2014 were labelled as GTI.

Authorities assumed that the recovered cocaine were from Colombia and Mexico to be transported to cocaine-consuming countries like China, Hongkong and Australia and believed to belong to the same manufacturer as observed in their labels of European luxury cars.

Presently, PDEA has recorded a total of 15 recoveries of cocaine with an estimated value of Php4.5 billion since 2001 and more or less P500 million worth of cocaine just this year 2019. #PDEA

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