P5.4M cocaine found in floating box -- PNP

February 11, 2019

MORE than a kilogram of suspected cocaine worth P5.4 million on Sunday was found by two fishermen floating in the waters off Vinzons, Camarines Norte.

Police Regional Office 5 director Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal said fishermen Alfredo Vega, 61; and his son Alfredo Jr. were fishing in the waters off Bgy. Sula when they saw a vacuum-sealed box floating in the sea.

The two immediately retrieved the box and turned it over to barangay captain Rose Marie Abogado who, in turn, informed the Vinzons Municipal Police Station of the discovery.

Local policemen who rushed to the site to investigate the mysterious box later opened it and discovered its contents.

When subjected to a test by the local Crime Laboratory, the substance tested positive for cocaine and weighed 1.026.19 grams.

Escobal said the  cocaine has an estimated Dangerous Drugs Board value of P5.438 million.

The PRO5 and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency are jointly investigating the discovery.

Cases of cocaine in vacuum-sealed boxes spotted floating in the waters off Bicol and Samar are not rare.

Since  early 2000, police have investigated reports of huge volume of cocaine found floating in the waters off Bicol and Samar by local villagers. Those were merely jettisoned by “mother ships” carrying the drugs after the crew sensed they were being tailed by United States Drug Enforcement Administration agents and could be arrested anytime for drug trafficking and smuggling.

Dozens of arrests were made by the police in Samar in the early 2000 after some enterprising local residents tried to hide and sell the illegal drugs to undercover agents.