By Erwin Mascariñas
THE police in Caraga has claimed to have received some P1 billion worth of cocaine bricks found by people along the coastline of the region on separate occasions since February this year.
Brig. Gen. Gilberto Cruz, police regional director, said fishermen who discovered the contraband turned over some 182 bricks of cocaine to different police stations across the region since Feb. 12.
The cocaine bricks, he said, weigh a total of 227 kilograms, with a value of P1.135 billion.
These, according to Cruz, were turned over on separate occasions to police stations in Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island.
According to the police, the latest incident where cocaine bricks were recovered was on April 30. A total of 18 bricks of cocaine were discovered by a fisherman in the waters of Lingig town in Surigao del Sur.
The fisherman was identified as Jolan Pucot, 25, a resident of Barangay Handamayan in Lingig.
On April 28, village officials of Libjo in Dinagat turned over two bricks of suspected cocaine wrapped in a cellophane and placed in a black rubberized bag to Libjo town police after discovering it along their beach.
“Most of the turned over cocaine bricks were marked ‘Bugatti’ and a dollar sign but the newly discovered cocaine in Lingig had the marking ‘Coca-Cola,’” said Cruz.
The discovery of the cocaine was first made Feb. 12, floating along the shoreline of Sitio Habongan, Barangay Poblacion in Cagdianao, Dinagat Island. The contraband was in a box, in it were 48 duct-taped bricks, later confirmed to be cocaine weighing a total 48.2 kilograms with an estimated value of P250 million.
On Feb. 14 and 15, more were discovered along Barangay Pacifico in San Isidro town, Siargao Island. A total of 40 bricks of cocaine were recovered estimated value of P212 million.
Several more bricks were recovered throughout the region in March and April.