NEW DRUG MIX FATAL TO USERS-PNP
A DRUG syndicate is trying to create a more powerful drug by mixing ketamine, a sedative used in animals, and metamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as shabu.
But the combination could be deadly to users, Philippine National Police Deputy Director General Ricardo de Leon warned the public on Wednesday.
"The drug has a very dangerous effect, and is definitely more harmful to the brain," De Leon said, quoting reports from the police chemical laboratory unit.
De Leon issued the warning after narcotics agents discovered 97 grams of mixed ketamine and shabu in a clandestine laboratory on Apo Street in Quezon City on Tuesday.
Agents also found 6.8 kilograms of ketamine worth around P34 million, several grams of shabu, and ephedrine, a chemical used in the manufacture of shabu.
Police arrested J.R. Avellanosa, caretaker of the house, during the raid.
"The operators are experimenting with shabu and ketamine. They may be trying to create a new drug. This is the first time we've seen this kind of mix," De Leon said.
The chief of the Central Police District-Crime Laboratory said that ketamine is a hallucinogen, while shabu is a stimulant.
"You are awake, and appear to be on cloud 9, but actually, you could be like a walking robot," Sr. Insp. Filipinas Francisco-Papa said in describing the sensation of a person who has taken the combined drugs.
Francisco-Papa added that the user may no longer know what is happening around him. That is worse than taking shabu or ketamine alone, she added.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the police's Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Task Force consider ketamine, and the new combination (ketamine and shabu) as "date-rape drugs."
A gram of ketamine costs around $90 dollars, and is now considered a dangerous drug.
De Leon said the big-time drug syndicate, allegedly ran by Johnson Chua, has been manufacturing ketamine because "they are experimenting with a ketamine shabu combination."
De Leon said that the Quezon City laboratory had produced 10 kilos of ketamine and this had been sent abroad.
Chua has been linked to the Quezon City laboratory and another one in Cagayan de Oro that was raided last Monday.
He reportedly headed a syndicate that operated a shabu laboratory in Davao City that was raided by authorities on New Year's eve.
Police on Wednesday also presented to the media, Melchor Martinez, alias "Mr. Wong" and "Tata," a Chinese national and Chua's alleged right hand man.
Agents had seized a kilo of shabu worth P1.2 million from Martinez in a buy-bust operation last week.
Using information supplied by Martinez, agents raided a Cagayan de Oro warehouse last Monday. The raid yielded 10 plastic drums of chemicals believed to be shabu.
The discoveries were an indication that drug lords could be shifting their operations to Mindanao and the Visayas, according to PDEA Director General Anselmo Avenido Jr.