TACLOBAN CITY , Philippines – With the continuous follow-up operations of authorities in recovering an estimated 1,500 tons of missing cocaine, the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group the other day recovered 17 more kilos with an P85 million estimated value buried in three separate areas in the province of Eastern Samar.
Lawyer Lelibeth Llagas of PASG in an exclusive interview with The STAR said that the special operations of PASG in coordination with National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police in Eastern Samar, recovered the 11 bricks of said contraband items in Barangay Hagnayan Salcedo Eastern Samar.
Three packs were also unearthed in Mercedes near the mountain and three more kilos in the shoreline of Llorente town.
The number of cocaine bricks found in the shorelines of several towns in Eastern and Northern Samar have now totaled close to 500 kilos with an estimated street value of P1.5 billion, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said earlier.
Eighty percent of the recovered cocaine were already burned and destroyed by the PDEA.
According to Llagas, the PASG has just responded to the report of an informant that some of these stuff recovered by still unidentified persons were buried in the said areas.
Nag-action agad kami wherein ang informant naman namin ang nag-guide kung saan nilibing itong mga cocaine, siguro nga natakot lang humawak ang mga taong naka-recover nito because of their fears na kapag mahulihan sila in possesion ay may parusa ito na life imprisonment, but we are still encouraging them to surrender any recovery of cocaine to PNP and PDEA for their safety, Llagas said.
The recent recovery of cocaine will formally be turned over by PASG to the PDEA central office for proper disposition.
The PDEA earlier said that the shipment of cocaine came from a South American source and the suspect cargo ship carrying the drug haul was en route to Hong Kong, and China passing through the Pacific Ocean in December 2009.
PDEA Director General Dionisio Santiago said earlier that the illegal drug cargo had already been apprehended by Hong Kong police.
However, upon inspection, he said the ship was found to be without any prohibited drugs on board.
The cocaine-bearing vessel might have received information from its intelligence network, and when they sensed that they were already under surveillance by international drug enforcement agencies, they dumped the illegal drugs off the Samar Sea to avoid arrest.
June 08, 2010