PDEA establishes link between shabu samples of intercepted shipment in MICP and drug siezures

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SAMPLES from the intercepted shipment of methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, in Manila International Container Port and pieces of drug evidence seized from recent anti-drug operations are linked together, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said.

This after representative samples were subjected by the country’s premier anti-drugs agency to impurity drug profiling, an analytical technique that helps establish links between samples of confiscated drug evidence. This can extract information to correlate the drug seizure to the synthetic impurities and the production method used in the manufacture of the illegal drug.

PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino

Based on the chromatographic impurity profiles and cluster analysis between samples from the intercepted shipment in MICP and bulk shabu seizures from recent entrapment operations conducted by PDEA in Sitio Tenorio, Barangay Awang DOS, Maguindanao on July 19, 2018; along Congressional Avenue, Barangay Toro, Quezon City on August 1, 2018; along Ronquillo Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila on August 26, 2018, and in Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa on October 1, 2018, it show that they are of high similarity, indicating strong correlation among them, PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said citing the result of the impurity drug profiling test.

The analysis was done by PDEA Laboratory, the number one drug forensic center in the Philippines. The facility is the first and only forensic laboratory in the country that specializes in impurity drug profiling and conforms to strict international standards.

On August 7, 2018, combined operatives of PDEA, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted 154 pieces of foil-wrapped sealed plastic packs containing 355.8506 kilos of shabu concealed inside two magnetic lifters at MICP, North Harbor, Manila.

Two days after, four more magnetic lifters were discovered abandoned by PDEA in a warehouse in Lot 1-18, CRS Subdivision, Barangay F. Reyes in GMA (Governor Mariano Alvarez) Cavite, but upon inspection, the metal containers were found empty.  Despite yielding negative results from swab testing, PDEA’s drug-sniffing dogs have responded positively in detecting traces of the illegal drug inside the lifters.

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According to reports, the lifters were delivered inside the warehouse on July 14, 2018. A Filipino forklift operator unloaded them the following morning and saw seven Chinese nationals opening the metal containers using grinders. Two vehicles were also seen entering and leaving the warehouse.

Four persons of interest, including two Chinese nationals in connection with the intercepted shipment in MICP, are now facing charges before the Office of the State Prosecutor, Manila.

“To this day, PDEA maintains that the four magnetic lifters found in GMA, Cavite contained shabu and stands by its K9 capability. PDEA is also convinced that the magnetic lifters found in MICP and Cavite bore close resemblance and are connected to one another,” said Aquino, adding that based on the bill of lading, the intercepted shabu shipment in MICP is destined to be delivered in the same warehouse in Cavite where the other lifters were found.

Aquino said that the shabu contained inside the magnetic lifters in Cavite have already found their way in the streets, as evidenced by the correlation patterns established by the impurity profiling analysis.

These scientific findings support the claims of Aquino that shabu is flooding the streets as further indicated by the sudden drop in the price per gram of shabu now at P1,400 per gram from P6,800 per gram in July, 2018.


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