CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- More than P3.6 billion worth of suspected "shabu" were seized by law enforcement agencies led by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in a warehouse in Purok 5, Barangay San Jose Malino, Mexico, Pampanga afternoon of Thursday, September 28, 2023.
The NBI reported that 59 brown boxes containing 530 mixed red tea bags and golden tea bags of shabu were seized from the warehouse during the operation.
NBI conducted the raid in collaboration with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA).
Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla of the Department of Justice said the illegal drugs came from Thailand and shipped via Subic port on September 18, 2023 on board the ship Sitc Shekou.
The NBI said an undercover agent from its anti-illegal drugs task force was able to penetrate the suspected drug syndicate.
Each box contains a plastic bag of cracklings (chicharon) or dried fish along with cases of soft drinks and sacks of feeds marked in Thai to conceal the suspected shabu, Remulla said.
He added that this is "the biggest catch so far under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr."
Remulla said authorities already have a list of suspects involved in the shipment of the illegal drugs.
Foreign nationals, with the help of alleged local government officials, are part of the ongoing investigation, he added.
The NBI, together with the Anti-Money Laundering Council, will also investigate and file charges against the corporations identified as conduits to smuggle into the country the seized shabu, according to Remulla.
The NBI is also working with the National Prosecution Service of the DOJ for the filing of a case for violation of Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 against the suspects.
Remulla said lawmen are closely monitoring the Subic port now, which he described as currently "hot".
The port has been observed as a source of agricultural and commodities smuggling in the country lately.
PDEA Central Luzon earlier said that Pampanga is not among the sources of illegal drugs in the country, but the province is being used as a transshipment point of illegal substances due to Subic and Clark ports.