Fishermen find cocaine worth $4m in Philippines 

Rift between Customs, PIA intensifies over $1.6m smuggled heroin
Illustrative picture.

Filipino fishermen have fished nearly 40 kilogrammes of cocaine worth over four million dollars from waters off an eastern Philippines province, police said on Tuesday.

The cocaine was contained in 12 boxes spotted floating in waters off the coast of Gubat town in Sorsogon province, 380 kilometres south-east of Manila, a police report said.

The fishermen reported the sighting to police and took the boxes out of the water on Monday.

“The haul totalled 39 kilos with market value of 218.4 million pesos 4.2 million dollars,” the police report said.

Fishermen and residents of coastal towns in mostly eastern parts of the Philippines have been recovering bricks of cocaine in waters of their communities since February.

Authorities said the bricks of cocaine were being thrown near the shores as a way to smuggle the illegal drug into the country.

The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has been waging an aggressive campaign against drugs, in which over 5,000 people have been killed since 2016.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said local rights and church groups estimated the true death toll in the crackdown, including victims of hired or vigilante killers, to be higher than 12,000.

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