Philippines: Series of drug raids seize nearly a ton of meth

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine authorities said Tuesday that anti-narcotics operations have led to the arrest of 10 suspects, including three Chinese nationals, and the seizure of nearly 1 metric ton of methamphetamine, the country's biggest drug haul ever.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the 890 kilograms (1,962 pounds) of methamphetamine seized in raids this month has a street value of around 6 billion pesos ($120 million).

The National Bureau of Investigation filed criminal complaints before the Justice Department on Tuesday against three Chinese and three Filipino suspects arrested Friday in almost simultaneous raids in San Juan city in eastern metropolitan Manila in which 600 kilograms (1,323 pounds) of methamphetamine was seized from a car and a nearby house.

"This is the biggest bust by any enforcement agency," Aguirre said.

The bureau said the series of raids followed months of surveillance after receiving intelligence information in September on a Chinese group involved in the manufacture and distribution of drugs in metropolitan Manila.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been waging a brutal crackdown against illegal drugs since he took office in June. More than 6,000 suspected drug users and dealers have been killed, alarming U.S. and U.N. officials and human rights advocates.

Duterte said in a speech Tuesday that he would work until the last drug dealer is off the streets and the last drug lord is killed. "I will really kill you, you sons of bitches," he said.

He said the suspects arrested Friday in San Juan were lucky that he was not in Manila at the time, because "if the (methamphetamine) is that much in a house, I will really kill you, let's not resort to any drama, I will shoot you myself if there's no one else to do the shooting."

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