$120m worth of ‘shabu’ Seized in the Philip­pines

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Philip­pine au­thor­i­ties have seized about 6 bil­lion pe­sos ($120 mil­lion) worth of metham­phetamines in a se­ries of anti-nar­cotics op­er­a­tions this month that have yielded the big­gest haul in the coun­try’s his­tory, the jus­tice min­is­ter said wedes­day. The Na­tional Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (NBI) con­ducted the op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing one on Mon­day in San Juan City in the cap­i­tal Manila where drums of chem­i­cals used to pro­duce metham­phetamines, or “shabu” as it is known, were seized.

That fol­lowed a raid on Fri­day in a quiet neigh­bor­hood in the same city, when six peo­ple were ar­rested and 560 kg (1,200 lb) of sus­pected metham­phetamines was found, worth an es­ti­mated $67 mil­lion. “It is not only the big­gest haul this year, but the big­gest so far in his­tory,” Jus­tice Sec­re­tary Vi­tal­iano Aguirre said in a news con­fer­ence. The seizures will be a boost for Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, who is fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of wide­spread hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions in a bloody war on drugs dom­i­nated by killings of drug users and push­ers, with few known ar­rests of ma­jor drug lords. Duterte has ex­pressed his frus­tra­tion at the fail­ure of anti-money laun­der­ing au­thor­i­ties to chase the trail of drug money, ac­cus­ing them of help­ing to fuel cor­rup­tion and threat­en­ing to charge them with crimes.

Agents of the NBI said their lat­est op­er­a­tion in­volved an apart­ment rented by a Chi­nese na­tional, who was not there when the raid took place. More than 6,000 peo­ple have been killed in the crack­down since Duterte took of­fice in July, roughly a third in po­lice op­er­a­tions. The other deaths are clas­si­fied as un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion, many be­lieved to be the work of vig­i­lantes. — Reuters

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