A haul of more than 600kg of shabu seized in Valenzuela City is the largest bust since China and the Philippines launched a cross-border crackdown on drug smuggling.
China is the main source of shabu — or methamphetamines — consumed in the Philippines, a trade that continues despite President Duterte’s bloody war on drugs.
Two people arrested in the Chinese city of Xiamen in a May 12 raid on suspected smugglers told authorities they had hidden drugs in five printing machines to smuggle them into the Philippines.
Tipped off by their Chinese counterparts, Philippine officials seized 604 kilograms — or 1,332lbs, about the weight of a cow — of the drug on Friday (May 26).
In a statement, Xiamen officials said: “According to the Philippines side, this case is the largest drug trafficking bust made by the Philippines since China and Philippines launched cooperation against cross-border drug smuggling.
“It shows China’s determination to crack down on drug smuggling.”
The Philippines’ Bureau of Customs has confirmed that it acted on intelligence from Chinese customs to seize the drugs in Valenzuela City.
BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon issued a Letter of Authority, allowing customs agents to inspect two warehouses located in Aster Street, Paso de Blas and in F Bautista Street in Barangay Ugong. They were joined by agents from the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
In the warehouses they found the shabu hidden in five metal cylinders. The haul is valued at 6.4 billion pesos, or about $130 million.
“Our level of effective information-sharing with China Customs Cooperation sends a strong warning to all those involved in the drugs trade,” said Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
The two nations agreed to strengthen cooperation in tackling illicit drugs during President Duterte’s visit to China last October.
Duterte defended Beijing last year after a Reuters report quoted Philippine drug enforcement officials as saying China had done little over the years to stanch the flow of shabu and its precursor chemicals.