Meth in magnetic lifters may have reached Mindanao: PDEA

Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 17 2018 11:13 AM

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MANILA - Some of the illegal drugs that supposedly came from the empty magnetic lifters found in General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite may have reached the country's far south, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said Monday.

Impurity profiling by the PDEA showed that shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) seized in some parts of Mindanao had "high correlation" with the ones seized from a Manila port last August, the agency's chief, Director General Aaron Aquino, explained.

"Apat na lugar na 'yan — dalawa sa [National Capital Region], isa sa part ng Cavite, isa sa part ng Mindanao. Nagkaroon kami ng drug impurity profiling ang lumabas doon, there's a high correlation," he told DZMM Teleradyo.

"High ang similarity nung drugs na nakuha natin sa MICP doon sa kumakalat na drugs. Ang ibig sabihin noon, iisa ang source, iisa ang manufacturing, the way it was produced was the same," Aquino added.

The PDEA initially blocked the entry of containers at the Manila International Container Port last August. It later on found out that they contained magnetic lifters with around 500 kilos of shabu amounting to around P4.3 billion.

Anti-narcotics agents also found similar-looking empty magnetic lifters in GMA, Cavite, which they said may have contained around P6.8 billion worth of shabu that came from the same sources of the ones seized at the Manila port.

The discovery of the multi-billion peso shabu shipments led to the transfer of former Customs chief Isidro Lapeña to another agency. President Rodrigo Duterte named Rey Leonardo Guerrero, a former military chief, as Lapeña's replacement.

Aquino said the PDEA has been in close coordination with the Bureau of Customs to prevent possible entry of illegal drugs through the country's ports. The anti-narcotics agency have also "leveled up" its operations, he added.