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Mexican drug cartel in Cebu?

By MARS W. MOSQUEDA, JR.

CEBU CITY – The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is closely monitoring the activities of a certain group that allegedly has links with a Mexican drug cartel and is planning to import drugs from the Latin American nation into the Philippines.

PDEA 7 Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz said the group operates on a national scale but he did not provide further details, saying an investigation is ongoing.

“These Mexicans are trying to build a market here. They want to bring in shabu and cocaine,” Ruiz said, although he stressed that the cartel is more interested in smuggling shabu into the Philippines based on the preference of Filipino drug users.

Ruiz said it was in 2015 when PDEA discovered the links of Philippine drug syndicates to Mexican cartels following the arrest of Mexican suspects.

Drug traders in the Philippines, he added, also now look into Mexico for their drug supply as China and the Philippines have beefed up their anti-illegal drugs cooperation.

Ruiz did not discount the possibility that drug syndicates are still cooking shabu in the country although the trend for them right now is to import finish products from Mexico.

“Direct importation of drugs is low risk compared to cooking here in the Philippines and these Mexicans are trying to flood our ports of entry with cheap drugs,” he said.

Based on monitoring, Mexican drugs, which are lower in quality compared with Chinese drugs and are cheaper, have already entered the Philippines.

“These drugs have footprints so we can immediately tell where they come from,” Ruiz added.

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