P540-M cocaine found floating on Siargao, Dinagat shores

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SURIGAO CITY – Authorities here found a total of 77 bricks of suspected cocaine with a total worth of P540-M were found floating on the seas of Siargao, Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte, last February 12 and 14, respectively.

Police and local officials said 37 blocks of cocaine were fished out off the Dinagat town of Cagdianao on Tuesday (Feb. 12) and another 40 blocks were recovered along the coast of San Isidro town, Siargao Island, on February 14.

Chief Superintendent Gilbert Cruz, director of Police Regional Office in Caraga, foreign drug syndicates usually use or attach the illegal drugs to a battery-operated GPS (global positioning system) to transport it, while their local contacts monitor the movement, but in this case, the hook or tie could have broke loose and resulted the cocaine bricks afloat.

Last Friday, Cruz said the laboratory tests results established that the bricks are cocaine.

Cruz theorised “It could be that the strings or hook used to tie the cocaine blocks recovered in Dinagat and Siargao Islands broke loose, thus, the blocks were washed ashore.”

The discovery led, Surigao del Norte second district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers to ask the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct a thorough investigation.

Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, expressed concern that the province is being used as a “dumping ground for illegal drugs by foreign and local drug syndicates.”

He suspects that the recovered illegal drugs could be linked to “narco-politics,” noting that the election period is approaching.

“It is an open secret in my province that some politicians are involved, directly or indirectly, in illegal drugs operations,” the lawmaker said, without elaborating.

“It is not far-fetched to think that people involved in this have heightened their illegal activity and use their loot for the May 2019 elections,” he added.

According to Barbers, already requested PDEA Chief Aaron Aquino and PNP Director-General Oscar Albayalde to “establish the identities of those who dumped the cocaine blocks in the seas, what boat or ship was used, and who were the intended local recipients.”

The lawmaker noted that last week, some PHP5.4 million worth of cocaine was also found floating along the shores of Vinzons, Camarines Norte.-Danilo Adorador

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