DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 February) – Villagers recovered at least 39 bricks of cocaine off the coast of Barangay Santiago in the coastal town of Caraga, Davao Oriental on Sunday, police said.
Chief Supt. Marcelo Morales, regional director of Police Regional Office 11, suspected that the cocaine may have originated from drug syndicates based in Colombia or Mexico.
Morales added the bricks of cocaine found in Caraga, which is at least 260 kilometers from this city, has similarities in terms of packaging with the ones recovered in Dinagat Island, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur in the last two weeks.
Eighty eight bricks of cocaine were recovered off the waters of Dinagat Island and Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte while 34 more were found drifting in the coast of Tandag City, Surigao del Sur in the past week.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency regional director Antontio Rivera bared that the Dangerous Drugs Board placed the value of cocaine at P5300 per gram.
Only 36 bricks weighing a kilo each were presented to the media but around 11:45am, Rivera said three more were recovered in the same area.
Morales said they have yet to investigate who were supposed to receive the contraband. “Dahil sa marami ang na-recover na ito, we can assume, na meron silang intended target sana dito sa Mindanao (Since this is a huge volume, we can assume that there’s an intended target in Mindanao). “
He said they are already tracking at least 20 vessels that had sailed recently along the eastern part of Mindanao, where the provinces of Davao Oriental, Dinagat and Surigao del Sur are located.
He said that the sea east of Mindanao is a known international shipping route.
The police official added they are now intensifying their monitoring in the area for contrabands that may have found their way into the hands of local drug syndicates. (MindaNews)