Philippine authorities last week seized more than 600 kg of methamphetamines in the largest such bust since China launched a cross-border crackdown on drug-smuggling with the Southeast Asian nation, Chinese customs said on Monday.
China is the main source of methamphetamine consumed in the Philippines, which is caught in the throes of a brutal war on drugs waged by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Two people arrested in a May 12 raid on suspected smugglers told Chinese authorities they hid the drugs in five printing machines to smuggle them into the Philippines, customs officials in the coastal city of Xiamen said.
Tipped off by their Chinese counterparts, Philippine officials seized 604 kilograms (1,332 lb) of methamphetamine on May 26, Xiamen Customs said on its website.
“According to the Philippines side, this case is the largest drug trafficking bust made by the Philippines since China and Philippines launched cooperation against cross-border drug smuggling,” the Xiamen officials said in the statement.
“It shows China’s determination to crack down on drug smuggling.”
The two nations agreed to strengthen cooperation in battling illicit drugs during Duterte’s visit to China last October.
Duterte defended Beijing last year after a Reuters report quoted Philippine drug enforcement officials as saying China had done little over the years to staunch the flow of meth and its precursor chemicals.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)