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Win for 'the Punisher': Giant $19M Meth Bust

Early victory for Rodrigo Duterte in quest to stamp out drugs, crime
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 4, 2016 6:48 AM CDT
Win for 'the Punisher': Giant $19M Meth Bust
New Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo at the Change-of-Command ceremony for incoming Armed Forces chief Gen. Ricardo Visaya Friday, July 1, 2016.   (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

(Newser) – Philippine police have seized about 400 pounds of high-grade methamphetamine worth $19.2 million, officials said Monday, in a major haul for the government of new President Rodrigo Duterte. Nicknamed "the Punisher," Duterte has bluntly promised to wipe out crime and corruption within six months. National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa said police and drug enforcement agents seized the methamphetamine hydrochloride, known locally as shabu, in 180 plastic bags on Sunday in an abandoned farm in northern Cagayan province following a tip. Authorities are investigating whether it was smuggled into the Philippines by a foreign syndicate or manufactured locally, reports the AP.

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"We know that there in the north, in the Cagayan area, which is the nearest point going to China and Taiwan, the shabu coming from abroad is docked there," dela Rosa said. He also said more than 100 armed drug dealers have been killed in gun battles with police since last month and thousands of drug users have surrendered to authorities during the intensified anti-drug campaign. The drug users will undergo mandatory drug treatment. Nine policemen from different regional offices who tested positive for illegal drugs in mandatory tests last Friday will face criminal and administrative charges, he added. (Read more Philippines stories.)

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