Albayalde: Cocaine bricks hauled off PH waters may have been bound for Australia
UNTV News • February 27, 2019 • 1906
QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Oscar Albayalde said on Wednesday that the cocaine bricks recovered off the waters of Mindanao and Luzon in the past two weeks may have been part of a drug shipment bound for Australia.
Albayalde said they are now coordinating with their Australian counterparts to determine the signature of the cocaine slabs in order to confirm if these were among those being used by drug dependents in Australia.
“I talked with my Australian counterpart earlier. Parang nanggaling ito sa Pacific Ocean, pero hindi ito delivery sa Pilipinas (It looks like it came somewhere from the Pacific Ocean and these are not for delivery in the Philippines),” Albayalde told media after his meeting with Australian Federal Police officials.
Both the Philippine and Australian authorities believe that the contraband which floated to the eastern seaboard are connected to the cocaine bricks that were recovered in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea in September last year because of its similar markings.
“Sometime in 2018, ‘yung Australian Federal Police assisted a police [operation in] Solomon Islands, meron silang nakuha na the same nature, the same package na cocaine,” Albayalde said.
The PNP Chief said Australian authorities had reported about the operations they conducted in three drug trafficking incidents in the Pacific Ocean in 2018.
First was in June where two suspects were arrested in Melbourne for conspiring to import and ship 300 kilograms of cocaine from Peru through the Pacific.
The second incident occurred in September in Siassi Island in Papua New Guinea, which yielded the arrest of six Hong Kong nationals and one Montenegro national following a high speed chase. The group allegedly dumped some of the cocaine slabs they were carrying in their boat during the chase but authorities were unable to find it after the operation.
Authorities also seized in September around 500 kilograms of cocaine from a yacht from Solomon Islands bound for Australia.
“Ito ‘yung nakuhang ship noon. Maliit lang kaya there’s a possibility na ito ay mga nag-capsized. Itong nakuha kasi ay yate, saka ang mga ganitong klase, way back in September, may nakuha sa Solomon island na around 500kg of cocaine,” Albayalde said.
“Meron din silang narecover with the help of Australian Police na the same package,” he added.
Since February 10, more than 100 kilograms of cocaine have been recovered on the shorelines or waters off Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Davao Oriental, Dinagat Island, Quezon, Aurora, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.
The PNP is awaiting results of the laboratory examinations of the seized cocaine samples they sent to Australian authorities. – Robie de Guzman (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
Australian beekeeper Paul Wood removed a treasure trove of honeycombs in the form of a massive bee hive hidden in a woman’s home in suburban Brisbane, Australia.
Wood removed the 50kg (110.2 pounds) of honeycomb, including the 60,000-bee population of the ten-month old hive on Saturday (August 17) at the behest of the house’s owner and transplanted them into what he refers to as a “free range hive” in his backyard.
“Now what happens in Brisbane and probably lots of places around the world, is that when bees swarm, every spring time – that’s their reproduction – and if they can’t find a natural hollow tree as a new home, they quite often go into the cavity walls of houses, or ceilings of houses,” said Wood, owner of Brisbane Backyard Bees.
“They build that beautiful comb – as soon as they move into those cavities, and as you can see, in ten months, they’ve built an awful lot of comb. They’ve also sucked into that cavity 50 kilos of honey and they bred up the numbers to about 50 to 60 thousand bees in that time,” he added.
His video of his removal of the massive hive and its succulent honeycombs from the structure’s ceiling went viral on social media.
Wood and his colleague gently vacuumed the bees into a special box for transportation and removed the honeycombs, straining the honey into jars.
Video obtained by Reuters showed Wood carefully dismantling the hive, piece by piece.
While the bees remain in a temporary hive in Wood’s backyard, he says they will eventually be sent to beekeeping enthusiasts in Brisbane. (Reuters)
A man with “some ideologies in relation to terrorism” went on a stabbing attack in downtown Sydney on Tuesday (August 13), killing one woman and wounding another before he was restrained by members of the public, police said.
The incident brought mid-afternoon traffic in Australia’s biggest city to a standstill and sparked a police investigation into how the accused man, aged 21, went from living with his parents to what police said was a terrible crime.
A woman, 21, was found dead at an apartment building and a second woman, 41, was taken to hospital in a stable condition with a stab wound on her back.
Police did not say how the first woman died but said the man was responsible for both attacks, adding that the attack cannot be classed as a ‘terrorist incident’, a claim that could be re-assessed as the investigation pursues.
The man, who police did not name, was carrying a knife and a computer thumb drive containing information about deadly attacks in North America and New Zealand when he went on the frenzy as a “lone actor” about 2 pm Sydney time (0400 GMT), police said. (REUTERS)
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