ILLEGAL DRUGS. Some of the 10 kilograms of shabu seized from a suspect near the port of Allen in Northern Samar province on Jan. 31, 2023. The confiscated shabu is valued at least PHP68 million. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency)

TACLOBAN CITY – At least PHP68 million of suspected shabu were seized by joint police operatives near the port of Allen in Northern Samar province from an individual reportedly transporting illegal drugs from Luzon to Mindanao on Tuesday.

Information officer Rogelette Urgel, of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Eastern Visayas, said in a phone interview that Mangayao Mitomara, 40, a resident of Sudoc, Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, was apprehended while transporting the illegal drugs.

Urgel said operatives intercepted the 10 kilos of shabu with a street value of PHP68 million along the highway of Jubasan village in Allen town around 2:45 p.m. on Jan. 31.

“Based on the initial investigation, the suspect transported the illegal drugs from Luzon to Mindanao. We are trying to find out if he has contacts in Eastern Visayas,” Urgel told the Philippine News Agency.

The PDEA official confirmed that the region’s nautical highway is being used as a transshipment point for illegal drugs intended for other regions.

The suspect is now facing drug charges and is currently detained at the Allen municipal police station.

Urgel said the recent operation was the biggest in terms of volume and value intercepted in the past three years.

In October 2019, policemen also intercepted around PHP600 million worth of shabu in Gandara town, Samar province, the largest seizure ever recorded in the Eastern Visayas region. (PNA)