Bricks of cocaine worth almost $1 million have washed up on the Philippines’ coast — the latest in a string of discoveries that have authorities puzzled.
- From February to April, Philippine National Police seized more than 200 kilograms of cocaine along the east coast
- Authorities have previously suggested the cocaine bricks may have been part of a larger shipment seized in the Solomon Islands
- The sudden drug influx was so pronounced that police offered residents sacks of rice in return for any cocaine bricks found
Seven packages containing cocaine, with a street value of around 35 million pesos ($970,000), were recovered by Mauban police on Sunday after members of the public spotted them floating near the shore in Quezon province, on the country’s east coast.
It follows the seizure of more than 100 kilograms of cocaine bricks found floating in waters off the Philippines’ coast over a matter of weeks earlier this year.
From February to April, Philippine National Police (PNP) seized more than 200 kilograms of cocaine along the east coast, the Philippine News Agency reported.
Authorities are yet to make any arrests over the most recent discovery and the origin of the packages is unknown, but police have previously suggested the sudden influx of cocaine on the nation’s shores may have been part of a larger shipment that was seized in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
Police believe the drugs, some of which were seized on a yacht in September, were being shipped through the Pacific on their way to be sold in Australia.
“Way back in September they found around 500 kilograms of cocaine on the Solomon Islands through the help of the Australian Federal Police, with the same packaging, so we think these may have drifted to us,” PNP director-general Oscar Albayalde told CNN Philippines in February.
“The probability is that they were supposed to be delivered to Australia because the market is good there for cocaine.”
The sudden drug influx was so pronounced, police in the Caraga region, on the Philippines’ east coast, began offering residents sacks of rice as an incentive to those who surrendered cocaine found in their communities, Filipino media outlet ABS-CBN reported at the time.
According to the Manila Bulletin newspaper, the bricks discovered on Sunday were “similar to the ones being recovered in various parts of the country that contain cocaine”.
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