Asia

Philippines police say drug raids netted £120m worth of meth

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa (L) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Isidro Lapena, display a bag full of methamphetamine hydrochloride Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Philippine police show seized methamphetamine during an earlier raid in November

Authorities in the Philippines say a series of drugs raids have netted nearly a tonne of methamphetamine, with a street value of £120m ($147m).

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said the haul was the biggest in the country's history.

Mr Aguirre said 10 people had been charged.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has pursued a bloody war on drugs since taking office six months ago, encouraging police to shoot on sight.

More than 6,000 drug users and dealers are suspected to have been killed by both police and vigilantes since the crackdown began.

'Biggest haul in history'

Barrels of chemicals used to produce methamphetamine, or "shabu" as it is known in the Philippines, were seized during a raid in the capital Manila, Mr Aguirre said.

Six people were arrested the previous day, also in Manila, when 560kg (1,200lb) of suspected methamphetamine, worth an estimated $67m, was found in one raid.

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Media captionRodrigo Duterte: "I was looking for an encounter so I could kill"

Mr Duterte has faced allegations of widespread human rights violations over his war on drugs and been accused of targeting low-level users and pushers rather than high-level dealers.

He has expressed few regrets about the policy, once saying: "Hitler massacred three million Jews... There's three million drug addicts. I'd be happy to slaughter them."

He caused controversy earlier this month after admitting that, as mayor of the southern city Davao, he had personally killed three men he said were suspected of rape.

He ran Davao for 20 years, earning the nickname "The Punisher" for his brutal approach to tackling crime.

Critics say he supported death squads in the city and continues to do so as president.

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