P1.9-B shabu seized in Cagayan


TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan: The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) seized powder and liquid shabu worth nearly P2 billion in a raid on a suspected illegal drug laboratory in the town of Lasam, PDEA Regional Director Juvenal Azurin said.

He said the operatives arrested former Lasam mayor Orlino Agatep Sr. and four other men during the raid and confiscated various equipment and materials used in the manufacture of the illegal drug.

“We have estimated the amount of P1.9 billion based on the 790 liters of liquid methamphetamine hydrochloride [shabu]inside capped plastic drums seized in the clandestine laboratory in Lasam town in Cagayan,” Azurin said.

Agatep rented out the site of the laboratory to Chinese businessman Benjamin Chua of Newagac, Gattaran. Agatep, Chua and three other men—Joey Peralta, Nelson Mallari and George Cortez—were in the vicinity during the raid.

Other than the liquid shabu, the raiders also seized shabu powder with an estimated street value of P19.5 million. They also recovered 9,844.5 liters of clear liquid believed to Toluine and Epidrine, the major components of shabu.

Supt. Alex de los Santos, PNP Region 2 Information Officer, said the raiding team dismantled hydrogen tanks, cauldrons, and stoves, weighing scales, pumps, freezers and funnels.

In Agatep’s rest house near the laboratory, police recovered high- powered guns and ammunition, according to De los Santos.

Azurin various charges were being prepared against Agatep and the other men for violations of the Dangerous Drug Act and illegal possession of firearms.

“Our focus now is close monitoring of the cases and to ensure 100 percent conviction of those involved,” Azurin said.


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