Mexican Drug Cartel Might Be Making Inroads In Philippines

By McCarton Ackerman 12/27/13

As they stretch their tentacles across the world, the cartels might also be enlisting help from Chinese drug traffickers.

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Mexican drug cartels might be making their mark halfway around the world. The Philippine government is investigating how they may have entered the country after a large stash of high-grade crystal meth (known in the Philippines as “Shabu”) intended for the local market was seized by police. The stash totaled 185 pounds and had a street market value of $9.4 million. Police found the drugs at a ranch just south of the capital, Manila, that was leased by an American citizen who allegedly had cartel links. He and other two Filipino natives were arrested, while two Mexican suspects are still at large.

National police chief Alan Purisima said that Mexican drug cartels could be getting help from Chinese drug traffickers to operate within the country. "We can see that they are just starting," he said. "We need to take action so they cannot go further in."

Last January, eight people were killed and eight others wounded during a shooting rampage by a man under the influence of alcohol and meth. The incident took place in Kawit Township, about 10 miles outside of Manila, until shooter Ronald Bae was eventually shot dead by police. The provincial governor, Jonvic Remulla, says that Bae and several friends went on a five-day "drug and alcohol binge" involving methamphetamine. Several of those shot were people Bae knew—including his four-year-old godson and a neighbor.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.