There are many ways drug traffickers distribute cocaine, heroin, shabu and other illegal drugs to end users. Latin and Central America’s drug cartels use underground tunnels in the Mexican border, planes and even submarines to smuggle packed narcotics into the US. There are the drug mules, who hide the drugs in baggage and even inside their bodies to smuggle them via airports.
In the Philippines, P6.4 billion worth of shabu was smuggled through the Bureau of Customs’ express lane, where imported cargoes pass without screening for faster clearance and release to consignees. If investigators are correct that the Taiwanese-crewed cargo ship that sank off Northern Samar at the height of tropical storm Agaton on January 2, 2018 was the source of 25 packs of cocaine that washed ashore in Sorsogon on January 3, 2018, it proves that drugs are being smuggled into the Philippines by sea.
Considering the Philippines is the fifth country in the world with the longest shoreline of 36,289 kilometers, it’s a vulnerability that drug traffickers would exploit to the hilt. It also poses a challenge to our Coast Guard, Navy and maritime police because of the sheer expanse of water to be guarded to prevent even one gram of narcotics from passing through and getting sold in the streets of Manila or Cebu.
Coastal communities or residents should be vigilant against smuggling of drugs by sea to help law enforcers and the Navy stop such crimes and protect the Filipino from the scourge of drug addiction.
Drug traffickers are losing the ground battle against our determined law enforcers and would try other means to carry on with their evil trade. Smuggling narcotics by sea is a delivery mode they will try. So let’s watch against narco ships and help make such smuggling dead in the water.