P500m worth of suspected cocaine recovered off Dinagat, Siargao islands
A total of P500 million worth of alleged cocaine in blocks were recovered by police in the waters of Dinagat and Siargao islands.
In a report on Friday, the Caraga region police office said 48 blocks of suspected cocaine were found by a fisherman in Sitio Habongan, Brgy Poblacion, Cagdianao in Dinagat Island last February 12 around 5:30 pm.
“Cagdianao MPS (Municipal Police Station) received a report from Mr. Gonie Curada (fisherman) that unknown substances were drifting ashore at said place. Immediately, personnel of Cagdianao MPS responded and recovered 48 blocks of suspected cocaine,” it said.
In follow-up operations on Friday, Chief Superintendent Gilbert Cruz-- Caraga region police director--said police were able to recover 88 blocks of cocaine in San Isidro, Siargao Island.
“Maybe they panicked and just threw it,” Cruz said in a video posted online.
But Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino called this “shipside smuggling” of cocaine.
Aquino said the cocaine might have come from Colombia.
“Those big ships are throwing it in the middle of the sea and small vessels will pick up the cocaine,” he explained.
“After small vessels get it, they will bring it, enter our coastline and hide it first in their warehouse,” he added.
The PDEA chief said smugglers are making the Philippines their transshipment point.
“They will put it at their warehouse to repack it and bring to Hong Kong, China and Thailand. So they are really using the country as transshipment point,” said Aquino.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) commended the fisherman. PDEA is studying if there is a connection with the P5.4 million worth of cocaine police recovered off the waters of Vinzons, Camarines Norte last February 10. Ella Dionisio/DMS