P1.125B worth of liquid meth seized in latest raid
MANILA, Philippines – Police on Tuesday, May 31, seized liquid methamphetamine worth P1.125 billion during a raid on a house in Santo Domingo, Angeles City, in Pampanga.
It's the latest in a string of drug operations conducted by authorities in the past few weeks. More operations have been reported recently – as if on cue with the transition period of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte, who is known for his tough stance against illegal drugs. (READ: A look at the state of crime, drugs in the Philippines)
During Tuesday's raid in Angeles City, the police found some 45 gallons of liquid methamphetamine after they served a search warrant against Taiwanese Lin Chin Kuan.
Lin, who uses aliases like "Chang" and "Hsu," is the alleged occupant of the house located at Number 2-7 Don Vicente Street, Villa Dolores, in Barangay Santo Domingo. (READ: Duterte: Armed personnel per barangay to crack down on drugs)
No one was in the house when the policemen arrived on Tuesday, although the air conditioners were still on. Superintendent Julius Caesar Mana of the Philippine National Police-Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG), said the suspects apparently left the house in a hurry.
Police found, aside from the liquid methamphetamine, 4 freezers, various hydrogen tanks, and more or less two kilograms of white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride).
Senior Superintendent Leonardo Suan, who led the raid, said 5 kilograms of shabu is produced from every gallon of liquid methamphetamine.
"Based on the current street value of shabu at P5 million per kilogram, that would be 225 kilogram or P1.1-billion worth of shabu," he explained.
The liquid methamphetamine, Suan said, is the final stage in the manufacturing of shabu. (READ: Duterte death squad fears rise as Philippine police kill 8)
"When liquid meth is frozen it will crystalize and the crystal methamphetamine will be sorted, that is why we also found hydrogenator and suction pumps, to suck the liquid from the crystal meth," he added.
The PNP-AIDG, as assisted by some members of the Taiwan anti-illegal drugs operative, had been trailing a Taiwanese syndicate that is operating in the Philippines. Their surveillance operations led them to Angeles City.
Other local police forces and law enforcement units confiscated huge amounts of other illegal substances in raids conducted recently in various places.
Shabu in Negros Oriental
On Monday, May 30, about P2.9-million worth of illegal drugs were seized during a raid at Barangay Malabuhan in Siaton, Negros Oriental.
Police recovered from the house of the suspect – 28-year-old Raffy Cantiga – 12 sachets of suspected shabu, several drug paraphernalia, cash worth P4,950, and a caliber .45 pistol which has no serial number and has 6 live ammunition.
Senior Superintendent Harris Fama, acting director of Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office said this is so far the biggest drug haul in the province for 2016.
Cantiga – considered a "big catch" by the police – is detained at the town police station and will face charges on illegal possession of drugs and firearms.
Ecstasy from Germany
In a May 26 statement, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) revealed that its Enforcement Group (EG) intercepted P378,000 worth of ecstasy, which arrived in the Philippines from Germany through the Parañaque postal services.
The package, which arrived in April, was initially declared as makeup but it contained 95 grams of unlabeled pills (252 pieces). Upon qualitative examination, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency confirmed that the pills tested positive of methylenedioxymethamphetamine, locally known as ecstasy.
The EG-Customs Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Force arrested the consignee for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
EG Deputy Commissioner Ariel Nepomuceno said the transportation of illegal drugs using different parcel systems "is a particularly popular method…because it is relatively safe and inexpensive." – with reports from Jun A. Malig, Randy V. Datu, and Marchel P. Espina/Rappler.com