PDEA sees links between ‘shabu’ seized in MICP, recent anti-drug ops

MANILA � The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said samples from the intercepted shabu shipment at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and pieces of drug evidence seized from recent anti-drug operations are linked together.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said the representative samples were subjected to impurity drug profiling, an analytical technique that helps establish links between samples of confiscated drug evidence.

This can extract information to correlate the drug seizure to the synthetic impurities and the production method used in the manufacture of the illegal drugs.

Aquino said chromatographic impurity profiles and cluster analysis between samples from the intercepted shipment at the MICP and bulk shabu seizures from recent entrapment operations by PDEA in Maguindanao, Quezon City, Manila and Muntinlupa show that they are of high similarity, indicating strong correlation.

He said the analysis was conducted by the PDEA Laboratory, the premier drug forensic center in the Philippines and the first and only forensic laboratory in the country that specializes in impurity drug profiling and conforms to strict international standards.

On Aug. 7, combined operatives of PDEA, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted 154 pieces of foil-wrapped sealed plastic packs containing 355.8506 kilos of shabu concealed inside two magnetic lifters at MICP, North Harbor, Manila.

Two days after, PDEA agents discovered four more empty magnetic lifters abandoned in a warehouse in Lot 1-18, CRS Subdivision, Barangay F. Reyes in GMA (General Mariano Alvarez) Cavite.

Despite yielding negative results from swab testing, PDEA's drug-sniffing dogs responded positively in detecting traces of illegal drugs inside the lifters.

According to reports, the lifters were delivered inside the warehouse on July 14, 2018. A Filipino forklift operator unloaded them the following morning and saw seven Chinese nationals opening the metal containers using grinders.

Two vehicles were also seen entering and leaving the warehouse.

Some four persons of interest, including two Chinese nationals, in connection with the intercepted shipment at MICP, are now facing charges before the Office of the State Prosecutor, Manila.

To this day, PDEA maintains that the four magnetic lifters found in GMA, Cavite contained shabu and stands by its K9 capability. PDEA is also convinced that the magnetic lifters found in MICP and Cavite bore close resemblance and are connected to one another, Aquino said in a statement Saturday.

He added that the shabu inside the magnetic lifters in Cavite have already found their way to the streets, as proven by the correlation patterns established by the impurity profiling analysis.

These scientific findings support the claims of Aquino that shabu is flooding the streets as further indicated by the sudden drop in the price of shabu which is now at PHP1,400 per gram from PHP6,800 per gram in July, 2018.

PNP chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde, said the police force should intensify anti-drug operations.

Kung talagang totoo na merong ganung kalaking (shipment), dapat ma-recover po yan. I think kung nakalusot yung ganung kalaking halaga or amount ng shabu ay siguro kailangan natin mag double time sa trabaho on anti-illegal drugs, yung police operations (if we will be able to recover that and it is true that there is such a big shipment, we should recover that. I think if such a huge amount of shabu really slipped into the country, we need to work double time in terms of anti-illegal drugs operations by the police), Albayalde said in a radio interview on Saturday. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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