Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) operatives seized P5 million-worth of cocaine in a buy-bust operation in Eastern Samar earlier this week.
The PDEA operation, details of which the agency disclosed only Wednesday, resulted in the arrest of Fe Delmonte, whom PDEA described as a "notorious lady pusher." Delmonte was caught in the sting operation after handing over a brick of cocaine to a PDEA agent in exchange for P450,000. The PDEA also recovered a mobile phone that she allegedly used for drug transactions.
Delmonte will be charged for violating the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act. Under the law, selling dangerous drugs carries a penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of from P500,000 to P10 million.
The cocaine may be part of around two tons of cocaine dumped by a Hong Kong-bound vessel in the waters around Samar in December 2009. The ship, FV King Yue 1, is believed to have dumped the drugs overboard to avoid arrest by Hong Kong authorities. By 2010, PDEA had recovered some P1.6 billion in cocaine, around 335 kilograms, from the shorelines of Samar and nearby provinces.
"We will have to look into the possibility whether this cocaine brick seized by PDEA agents is still part of the unrecovered 'Samar cocaine' which is being recycled in the black market," PDEA director general Jose Gutierrez, Jr said in a press statement.
PDEA director Derrick Carreon told Yahoo! Southeast Asia that PDEA will coordinate with law enforcement agencies abroad to profile the cocaine and find out whether it came from the shipment that FV King Yue 1 dumped.
The buy-bust operation was conducted in Dolores town in Eastern Samar. Bricks of the dumped cocaine were found in the nearby towns of Llorente, Balangkayan, Maydolong, and San Policarpio in 2010. PDEA said then that some of the cocaine may have been recovered and resold by local dealers.
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