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Cocaine found in Bicol submitted for profiling

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has confirmed that the seven blocks containing white crystalline granules fished out Monday afternoon in the waters of Bagamanoc town n in Catanduanes was cocaine.

Cotton Talento, PDEA spokesperson, said the PDEA laboratory on Tuesday made the confirmation.

A PDEA chemist report said the qualitative examination gave positive result on the presence of cocaine with a net weight of 7 kilos that has a street value of P37M.

The block of cocaine was fished out at around 1:00 p.m. last Monday by fisherman Marcel Benosa, 33, Danilo Villasana, 65, and Tirso Bandola, 47 all of Barangay Bugao in Bagamanoc town.

A police report said the fishermen turned over the item to the Bagamanoc town police station, which subsequently brought it to the PDEA regional office here.

In a phone interview, Talento, said they are still validating whether the blocks of cocaine found previously in the waters off Camarines Norte, Sorsogon and Catanduanes came from one source.

Talento said the recovery of the seven kilos of cocaine brings to 11 kilos of cocaine found floating off the waters of the towns of Paracale and Vinzons in Camarines Norte and Baras and Bagamanoc in the island province of Catanduanes.

Talento said they would still send drug samples taken from the cocaine found in Camarines Norte and Catanduanes for drug profiling process to determine whether the chemistry and the quality of the drugs came from the same source.

In an earlier interview, Christian Frivaldo, PDEA acting regional director, said: “Drug profiling process takes a while since we have limited capabilities in knowing the chemistry and the quality of the drugs, and where it was produced.”

He said the drug samples taken from the cocaine found in Sorsogon, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes would be submitted to the Australian Federal Police and the United States Drug Enforcement Agency for profiling to determine the possible sources of the cocaine.

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