MANILA, Philippines — A total of 146 kilos of “shabu” (crystal meth) worth around P1 billion were seized inside a warehouse in Malabon City on Wednesday, authorities said Friday.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) said that operatives of several enforcement agencies retrieved the shabu from a warehouse in Brgy. Santolan in Malabon City.
The illegal drugs were concealed in 114 bags and kept inside several aluminum pallets. The shipment was marked as tapioca, the agency said.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said the illegal drugs were shipped from Cambodia and consigned to a certain company called Goroyam Trading, which is reportedly located in Cavite.
Aquino said the PDEA, in coordination with the Bureau of Customs (BOC), found the abandoned shipment in March.
However, in hopes of finding and arresting the people behind the shipment, which are allegedly part of the Golden Triangle drug syndicate, the PDEA decided to auction off the “tapioca shipment.”
This is in the hopes that members of the drug syndicate would participate in the auction, Aquino said.
“‘Yun ang gusto naming malaman, sino ‘yung magbi-bid na ‘yun. Kaya sinusubaybayan namin na nagkaroon ng bidding process na kung sino man ‘yung nagbidding dito*, one of those most probably is the one who shipped these items,” Aquino told reporters in an interview.
*What we want to know, who’s (for) bidding it? So we keep track of the bidding process
Coordinating with the BOC, the auction took place in April and a certain company called Goldwin Commercial Warehouse won the highest bid.
However, Aquino said that upon conducting a background check on the owners of the company, the PDEA found no link between the company and illegal drug trade.
The PDEA was not able to arrest any suspect behind the shipment of the illegal drugs. He said that whoever was behind the shipment could have opted not to join the bidding upon sensing it was a trap.
“Unfortunately, siguro nakaramdam siya na he’s being monitored and that’s the reason why hindi siya sumali sa auction,*” he said.
“Hindi naging fruitful ‘yung operation natin**, he added.
*maybe he felt that he’s being monitored and that’s the reason why he did not join the auction
**It was not a fruitful operation that he realized he was being monitored and that’s the reason why he did not join the auction
(Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)