Block of suspected cocaine found floating in Catanduanes waters

Catanduanes. Photo: Google maps.
Catanduanes. Photo: Google maps.

Just when you thought you’ve seen them all, another appears.

A block of what was suspected to be cocaine was found by a lone fisherman yesterday in the waters off Baras, a town in the island of Catanduanes.

The fisherman, identified by The Philippine Daily Inquirer as John Anthony Tabinas, was fishing at around 11am when he found the block. He surrendered it to the police immediately.

Placed inside a black garbage bag, the block weighed around 1 kilogram and was wrapped with brown packaging tape, Manila Bulletin reported.

In an interview with Bombo Radyo, Lt. Michael Albania, the chief of police of Baras, estimated that the suspected cocaine would cost around PHP5 million (US$95,605). The block was brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) Crime Laboratory for testing.

The block from Catanduanes is just the latest after last month’s discovery of other bricks of drugs near and in the waters of several places including Davao OrientalQuezon Province, Camarines Norte, Dinagat Islands, Aurora, and Siargao.

PNP chief Police General Oscar Albayalde said last month that the blocks might have floated from Papua New Guinea because, in September 2018, authorities there discovered cocaine that was similar in appearance to the ones discovered here in the Philippines, CNN Philippines reported. Another possibility was that they were being used as decoys while a bigger shipment of drugs is smuggled into the country by syndicates.

From President Rodrigo Duterte’s perspective, however, the Columbian drug cartel Medellin is responsible for the floating cocaine. He said that the cartel has entered the Philippines, a statement supported by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency. Narcos fans would know that at its peak, the Medellin cartel was one of the biggest in the world.

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