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Philippine drug agents arrest 28 Chinese nationals

Philippine drug agents arrest 28 Chinese nationals

Philippine drug enforcers and coast guard agents arrested 28 Chinese nationals in a pre-emptive strike against suspected drug smugglers who pose as boatmen but no narcotics were found on board their vessels, an official said Tuesday.
The Chinese men were detained July 30 on board the ships anchored in waters off western Zambales province for the past five months, said Dionisio Santiago, head of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. They were turned over to the immigration bureau for further investigation.
Philippine drug officials said there were intelligence reports that they were involved in drug smuggling, but no drugs were found.
The presence of the two registered mining ships raised suspicions because of the 2004 seizure of 770 pounds (350 kilograms) of methamphetamine hydrochloride, popularly known as shabu, that was smuggled in the same area by boat. A Chinese national was also arrested in the 2004 operation.
A U.S. State Department report in February said the Philippines continues to face an "immense" drug problem despite efforts to disrupt major trafficking syndicates and dismantle clandestine labs.
Earlier this year, Santiago estimated the country's illegal drug trade to be worth $6.3 billion to $8.4 billion yearly.
Corruption among law enforcement officers and officials and vast stretches of unpatrolled coastline make the country an attractive narcotics source and transshipment point.


Updated : 2021-10-18 16:45 GMT+08:00