Five Hongkongers arrested in HK$104 million Philippines crystal meth crackdown
Anti-narcotics operatives seized vast quantities of the drug from a kitchen lab in Manila
Five Hongkongers were arrested in Manila amid the seizure of more than 720 million pesos (HK$104 million) worth of crystal methamphetamine, according to local authorities.
Anti-narcotics operatives from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) raided a kitchen-style drug laboratory, which was regarded as one of the biggest of its kind, in a high-end condominium in Pasay City in Manila on Tuesday night, the agency said.
The operatives seized a total of 727 million pesos (US$13.6 million) worth of the drug, also known as “ice”, which they believed was intended for local use.
The agency said it arrested five Hongkongers, two of whom were chemists.
Local media reported that authorities arrested the suspects, aged 35 to 56, in separate operations in Parañaque and Manila on Tuesday and raided the drug lab where at least 80kg of crystal meth, as well as chemicals and equipment believed to be used in the manufacturing, was seized.
Other stashes of the drug were found in another two operations. The seizures weighed 107kg in total.
PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon told reporters that the laboratory could produce at least 40kg to 50kg of illegal drugs a week.
PDEA chief Aaron Aquino said that the suspects were members of the Hong Kong-based triad 14K, an international drug syndicate that operates in Hong Kong and mainland China.
He said it took his agency four months to conduct the operations in partnership with China and Hong Kong.