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Philippines seizes drugs trafficked from Taiwan

2018/08/10 21:32:18

CNA file photo

Manila, Aug. 10 (CNA) A large amount of illicit drugs from Taiwan was seized in the Manila International Container Terminal early this week, Philippines authorities said Friday.

Philippines Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director-General Aaron Aquino said some 500 kilograms of amphetamine concealed in a magnetic lifter within a container were discovered by PDEA agents, police and customs officers Tuesday.

According to Aquino, the information they obtained indicates that the drugs were transported from Taiwan to the Philippines using Malaysia as a transit point.

As it was suspected that more amphetamine from Taiwan might have been smuggled into the Philippines, Aquino said in a report that he ordered PDEA agents to conduct more raids and discovered four other of the lifting devices in a town some 40 kilometers south of Manila.

Although the agents found nothing, they believed that illicit drugs had been hidden there at some point, as sniffer dogs detected the presence of drugs, Aquino said.

Aquino estimated that as much as one metric ton of amphetamine, with a market value of US$140 million, could have been concealed in the four lifters.

The PDEA has targeted 19 people, including Filipinos, Chinese and Malaysians, and is cooperating with foreign counterparts to trace their whereabouts, Aquino said.

The suspects could be sentenced to life jail terms if convicted of drug trafficking in the Philippines, he said.

(By Emerson Lim and Flor Wang)