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Philippines seizes one ton of meth worth $120M in nation's biggest bust

By Allen Cone
Philippines seizes one ton of meth worth $120M in nation's biggest bust
An operative from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency carries bottles of chemicals during the destruction of seized materials and paraphernalia used for manufacturing shabu, a cheap form of methamphetamine, at a warehouse in Valenzuela City, north of Manila, Philippines, on December 8. On Tuesday, Philippines authorities announced the seizure of nearly a ton of meth during fourth months of raids. File photo by Francis Malasig/European Pressphoto Agency

MANILA, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Nearly 1 ton of methamphetamine with a street value of $120 million was seized in drug raids, which Philippines authorities announced Tuesday was the largest haul ever in the nation.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the 1,962 pounds of meth -- locally known as shabu -- were seized during raids over four months.

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"I would like to tell you about the biggest drug bust conducted by the NBI [National Bureau of Investigation] in three successive incidents beginning Dec. 1, 23 and yesterday, Dec. 26," Aguirre said during a news conference. "We have verified with the PDEA [Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency], it is not only the biggest haul this year, but the biggest so far in history," he added.

The illegal drugs, packed in bags, were displayed during the news conference.

Also presented at the media gathering were 10 suspects -- three Chinese nationals and seven Filipinos. Called "Red Dragons" by the NBI, they face charges for violating the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Since President Rodrigo Duterte took power June 30, around 6,000 drug users and dealers have been killed. He has encouraged civilians to perform vigilante-style assassinations of criminals.

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"I am trying to protect the next generation," Duterte said Tuesday.

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