MANILA - Authorities seized an estimated P163 million-worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu during a buy-bust operation Wednesday.
Police said 24 kilograms of shabu, packed in refined tea bags bearing Chinese characters, were found inside a silver luggage in the house of suspects Ian Calabio and his mom Ruby in Barangay 778 in the Sta. Ana district.
Philippine National Police chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said they are now investigating if the illegal substance was smuggled into the country.
"That is part of our investigation kung paano nakapasok or kung papaano na-develop or nagawa 'yang ganyan karaming shabu. Of course, 'yung pag-empake pa lang alam na nating there's a big possibility na smuggled talaga 'yan," he told reporters.
Northern Police District Director Amando Clifton Empiso said a separate buy-bust operation in Caloocan on Tuesday afternoon led to the arrest of suspects who pointed the police to Sta. Ana.
Empiso said policemen posing as buyers were allowed to go inside the house of the suspects in Sta. Ana before they declared the buy-bust operation.
Aside from the packed shabu, police also recovered P30,000 marked money. All evidence, they said, will go to the laboratory for examination.
--report from Henry Atuelan and Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News