Citing Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency records, it reported that last year PDEA “conducted 9,850 anti-illegal drug operations resulting in the arrest of 8,491 suspects and 9,995 cases being filed.”
Philippine authorities “seized 250 kilos of methamphetamine valued at $68 million (about P2.92 billion); 4.8 million marijuana plants and seedlings and 818 kilos of marijuana with a total value of $17.4 million (P748 million); 17,222 grams of cocaine worth $2 million (P86 million); and 960 Ecstasy tablets valued at $26,790 (P1.15 million).”
According to the state department, “ethnic Chinese organized crime groups continue to be the primary organizers and financiers of methamphetamine trafficking in the Philippines.”
“Law enforcement agencies, however, noted the new trend of African-produced methamphetamine being smuggled into the Philippines through the airports for onward distribution throughout Southeast Asia. PDEA and the National Bureau of Investigation conducted investigations that led to the arrest of several members of African drug trafficking organizations in Malaysia,” it said.
The authorities also have “made large seizures of bulk high-grade methamphetamine that appeared to have been produced outside the Philippines and smuggled in via cargo shipments. This supports law enforcers’ findings of the continuing decline in industrial-size methamphetamine laboratories in the Philippines itself due to improved detection and law enforcement efforts. PDEA also seized six smaller kitchen-type clandestine methamphetamine laboratories.”
On the other hand, marijuana cultivation in the country “occurs in remote mountainous regions of Luzon and Mindanao.”