Floating “shabu lab” seized in Subic Bay

• A foreign fishing vessel suspected of being a shabu laboratory was seized in Zambales
• Four Chinese nationals from Hong Kong were nabbed inside the vessel
• 500 grams of shabu were confiscated from one of the suspects

A foreign fishing vessel moored along the coast of Barangay Calapandayan, Subic, Zambales was seized by agents from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-illegal drugs group on Monday night, July 11.

Four Chinese nationals from Hong Kong onboard the 50-meter long vessel were apprehended on suspicion that they were involved in drug smuggling.

Police Regional Office 3 Director Sr. Supt. Christopher Mateo said the four arrested Chinese nationals may have accomplices in the country. He said there is a possibility that the suspects and the fishing vessel are connected to the recent anti-drug operation in Claveria, Cagayan where 180 kilos of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) worth almost P1 billion were confiscated.

Subic Mayor Jay Khonghun, in an interview with Radyo Inquirer, said he believes that the ship is some kind of a floating shabu laboratory.

Half kilo of suspected shabu was found inside the bag of one of the suspects. Equipment used in manufacturing shabu were also discovered in the vessel.

PNP Chief Ronald De la Rosa arrived at the scene around midnight to check on the operation. He showed reporters the seized passports of the foreigners that indicated they entered the country from Hong Kong just seven days ago via Cathay Pacific Airways.

De la Rosa said he will verify the possible connection of the seized vessel to the Cagayan drugs operation.

“For sure, we will be connecting some dots to see if there’s any link,” he said.

Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service chief retired Col. Neil Anthony Estrella said the vessel has no registration, which is already a violation under Philippine laws.