Instead of fish, two fishermen caught a box containing 1,026.10 grams of cocaine with a street value of P5,438,807 off the waters of Vinzons, Camarines Norte, a report from Philippine National Police Regional Office 5 (Bicol) disclosed yesterday.
Alfredo Vega Sr., 61, and his son, Alfredo Jr., were fishing near Quinamnucan Island in Barangay Sula when they saw a box floating on the sea, said Chief Supt. Arnel Escobal, Bicol police director.
The sighting, according to Escobal, happened around 11:55 a.m. Sunday.
Escobal said the two fishermen went home and opened the box where they saw a pack of white powder.
With the suspicious discovery, the fishermen turned over the packed powder to barangay officials who coordinated with personnel of the Vinzons Municipal Police Station.
Around 3:45 p.m., Vinzons cops took custody of the packed powder and upon chemical testing, they found out that the powder tested positive for cocaine.
Police have conducted a follow-up investigation to determine where the drugs came from.
Packs of drugs being washed ashore in the waters of Bicol have been a recurring problem for authorities.
In April 2017, a group of fishermen found a plastic container filled with 28 sealed packs of high-grade cocaine, each pack weighing a kilo, in the waters of Lucena City, Quezon. Police had estimated the drugs to be worth at least P162 million.
In January 2018, a fisherman in Matnog, Sorsogon found a drum containing about 24 kilos of cocaine bricks wrapped in plastic. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency estimated that the cocaine was worth P125 million.
A month later, eight packs of cocaine placed inside a plastic container and weighed 18.842 kilos were found floating in waters off Divilacan, Isabela. Authorities pegged the amount of the discovered drugs at P79.136 million. (with reports from Ruel Saldico and Nino Luces)