PDEA confirms Colombian drug cartel behind floating cocaine
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Aaron Aquino on Tuesday confirmed the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that a Colombian drug syndicate is in the country.
“Well the president is right that the Colombian drug cartel has been entering the country based on the representative sample (cocaine) that we got in Matnog, Sorsogon last 2018,” Aquino said in a TV interview.
In another interview, Aquino said based on their observations, it is possible the blocks of cocaine were floating since November last year.
“Because it has shells in the net, it can be that it is floating for around two to three months,” he said.
Aquino said they have three theories on what this syndicate is doing to the country.
These are as transshipment port or drug hub, second a diversion on their activities and the last one is due to arrest threat, syndicates are dropping the blocks in the sea on their speedboats but failing to recover everything.
“So these are some theories that the PDEA is assessing,” he said.
He said it is easy for the syndicates to drop small amounts of cocaine in the sea to be used as diversion as they ship cocaine worth around 10 to 15 billion pesos.
“So there is a probability that they are letting the cocaine float in the eastern side while a big shipment of shabu is going in the western or maybe on the northern or southern part, so we can see that it’s a diversionary tactic,” he explained.
Aquino added it is possible some unguarded islands or coastlines are becoming the syndicates' drop-off point.
“It is really hard for our (Philippine) Navy and (Philippine) Coast Guard because of lack in floating assets,” said Aquino.
Aquino said based on their coordination with international counterparts, only the Philippines has this kind of incident of floating cocaine.
According to the Philippine National Police (PNP), around 164.8 kilograms of cocaine worth P871, 654, 226 were recovered. Ella Dionisio/DMS