TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A plastic drum packed with cocaine valued millions of dollars washed up on the shores of eastern Philippines in the town of Matnog, as reported by the local media on Friday.
Matnog is a municipality in the province of Sorsogon, about 403 kilometers (250 miles) southeast of the capital Manila.
The drum was discovered by a local fisherman on Wednesday (January 3) and reported the same day to the authorities immediately, who after investigating, found about 24 kilograms (53 pounds) of cocaine bricks wrapped in plastic, said Christian Frivaldo, a regional director of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency to the local media.
The value of the cocaine bricks was estimated at 125 million pesos (US$2.5 million).
According to the local media reports, authorities in the Philippines suspect the source of the huge amount of cocaine could have been a Taiwan-flagged cargo ship that was hit by huge waves off the eastern Philippines just a day before the drum filled with cocaine was discovered.
Christian Frivaldo also mentioned in his statement that nine of the Chinese, Hong Kong and Taiwanese crew members from the vessel were in the authorities' custody after being rescued from the damaged ship and are currently under investigation.
"They are under investigation. We are checking their vessel (to see) if there is additional evidence inside. But it is difficult because it is half-submerged," said Frivaldo as quoted by Channel News Asia.