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Naanod lang! P900M cocaine blocks washed up on PH shores were meant for Australia

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The blocks of “floating cocaine” seized off the country’s territorial waters for the past two weeks are likely to be bound for Australia, Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde said on Wednesday.

Albayalde said that they are now coordinating with Australian authorities to determine the ‘signature’ of the cocaine in order to determine if this is the same as those being used by drug dependents in Australia.

“I talked with my Australian counterpart earlier. It seems these more than 100 kilos of cocaine, 111 kilos to be exact, were recovered from the eastern seaboard of our country. It looks like these came somewhere from the Pacific Ocean and these are not for delivery in the Philippines,” Albayalde told reporters after a meeting with officials from the Australian Federal Police during the launch of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Center at the police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Albayalde said Australian authorities believe that a yacht carrying the contraband might have met an accident while repacking the cocaine or those who picked them up in the high seas might have deliberately dumped them after being chased by Coast Guard or Navy vessels.

Albayalde said that based on the ranking of cocaine use in the world, the Philippines is number 14 from the bottom of the list.

“So I don’t think we have a market for those kilos of cocaine which have been so far recovered. Accordingly, the probability is that they were supposed to be delivered to Australia because the market is good there for cocaine,” he added.

Both Philippine and Australian authorities believe that the cocaine bricks that were recovered in the past few weeks in Luzon and Mindanao are connected to the 500 kilos of cocaine bricks that were recovered in Papua New Guinea last year.

Since Feb. 10, more than 100 kilos of cocaine worth P871 million have been recovered so far on the shorelines or off the waters of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Island, Davao Oriental, Quezon, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur and Aurora.

The PNP is awaiting the results of the laboratory examinations that would be done by their Australian counterparts on the seized cocaine blocks.

“We will be giving specimen to our Australian counterparts because they told us that they can determine the signature on where they were manufactured because according to them, cocaine has also some sort of a DNA that could determine where it was made and where it came from,” said Albayalde.

The laboratory test will either prove or refute theories that the floating cocaine bricks are diversionary tactics for the entry of much bigger haul of shabu.

Earlier, Albayalde said he does not believe that the recovery of the cocaine blocks were diversionary tactics of drug syndicates for a bigger shipment of meth as stated by Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino.

However, the PNP chief agreed with Aquino’s statement that the country is being used as a transshipment point of drug syndicates.

The PNP and PDEA both said that only 2 to 3 percent of drug users in the country are into cocaine as compared to those who are using shabu, marijuana and ecstacy.

With a length of 36,289 km., the Philippines is one of the countries in the world that have the longest coastline.

While admitting that it is difficult to guard Philippine shores, PNP Maritime Group Director, Chief Supt. Rodelio Jocson said they already increased patrol security as soon as the floating cocaine were found.

The PNP also acquired the 46 high speed tactical watercraft, a water asset which will help them in patrolling the seas. This is scheduled to be delivered before the year ends. (PNA)

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