Tag Archives: drugs

Philippine anti-narcotics chief warns of drugs war slowdown, police target assassins

Philippine anti-narcotics chief warns of drugs war slowdown, police target assassinsBy Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) – The head of the Philippines’ anti-narcotics agency on Friday warned of a reduced intensity in the country’s war on drugs after a removal of police from the campaign, which he hoped would only be temporary as his unit lacked manpower. Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chief Aaron Aquino said he had only a fraction of the personnel and budget of police, and hoped President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to make his agency responsible for all operations would not be lasting. “I hope this is just a temporary arrangement, we need the police.” Amid unprecedented scrutiny of police conduct, the mercurial Duterte issued a memorandum on Tuesday ordering police to withdraw.



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Duterte's family grilled at Senate inquiry on drugs, payoffs

Duterte's family grilled at Senate inquiry on drugs, payoffsMANILA, Philippines (AP) — The son and son-in-law of the Philippine president, who has been accused of condoning extrajudicial killings of thousands of drug suspects, on Thursday appeared in a Senate inquiry looking into a huge shipment of illegal drugs from China that slipped through Manila's port.



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'The King of Cocaine'. Alleged mafia drugs kingpin arrested in South America after 23 years on the run

'The King of Cocaine'. Alleged mafia drugs kingpin arrested in South America after 23 years on the runAn alleged mafia boss nicknamed “the King of Cocaine” has been captured in South America after 23 years on the run. Rocco Morabito, who was wanted by Italian police for allegedly masterminding the trafficking of cocaine from Latin America to Europe, was arrested in a hotel in Uruguay. He is considered to be one of Italy’s five most dangerous fugitives and has been on the run from arrest since 1994.  During a search of his home in Uruguay, police found 13 mobile phones, which investigators said were used for drug deals, a 9mm pistol, ammunition, a hunting knife and 150 passport photos of himself in different guises. Morabito had been on the run for more than 20 years when he was captured in Uruguay. Credit: EPA Morabito, an alleged kingpin in the ‘Ndrangheta mafia, is believed to have been living in Uruguay for around a decade under the alias Francisco Capeletto Souza. He had been able to obtain Brazilian identity documents as well as the right to live in Uruguay. His arrest was the result of a joint operation between police in South America and investigators in Calabria, the home of the much-feared ‘Ndrangheta. The villa in which Morabito lived with his wife in Uruguay. Credit: Uruguay interior minister The organized crime network, which for years has been extending its reach from its home territory to other parts of the world, makes millions by smuggling cocaine into Europe, often via Italy. Italian police described Morabito as “one of the most important members of the 'Ndrangheta”.  He was arrested in a hotel in Punta del Este, a tourist resort about 90 miles from the capital, Montevideo.  Morabito was on Italy's list of most wanted fugitives. Credit: Italian police The arrest came “after months of intense international cooperation in intelligence matters,” the Italian police said in a statement. His false identity was known to Interpol and when he checked into the hotel, an alert was generated.  “He didn’t put up any resistance,” said Emilio Russo, an Italian officer involved in the investigation. “He tried to deny who he really was, but when put under pressure admitted to his real identity. “We maintain that Morabito was still actively involved in criminality. He was not a former member of the ‘Ndrangheta, he was still very much an active member.” Police found weapons, ammunition and 13 mobile phones when they searched Morabito's home in Uruguay. Credit: Uruguay interior ministry His wife, a 54-year-old Angolan woman with a Portuguese passport, was also arrested.  When police searched their home, also in Punta del Este, they found the 13 mobile phones and weapons, as well as a dozen credit cards. A Mercedes car was impounded. Morabito is expected to be extradited back to Italy in the coming months, where he faces 30 years in prison for various crimes, including mafia association and drug trafficking. Italy’s most notorious fugitive remains Matteo Messina Denaro, the alleged head of the Cosa Nostra mafia in Sicily, who has been on the run for 24 years.  His ability to elude capture has earned him almost mythical status among some Sicilians, and he has not been seen in public for years.  He is among the 10 most wanted criminals in the world, according to Forbes magazine.  He is alleged to have killed up to 50 people and once boasted: “I filled a cemetery all by myself.” It is believed that he moves between safe houses in the Trapani area of western Sicily.



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Trump Lawyer Asks Journalist If She's On Drugs After James Comey Question

Trump Lawyer Asks Journalist If She's On Drugs After James Comey QuestionWhite House special counsel Ty Cobb asked Business Insider’s Natasha Bertrand if she was on drugs during an email thread late on Saturday.



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More than a thousand turn Philippine funeral to protest against war on drugs

More than a thousand turn Philippine funeral to protest against war on drugsBy Erik De Castro and Andrew R.C. Marshall MANILA (Reuters) – More than a thousand people attended a funeral procession on Saturday for a Philippine teenager slain by police last week, turning the march into one of the biggest protests yet against President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs. The death of Kian Loyd delos Santos has drawn widespread attention to allegations that police have been systematically executing suspected users and dealers – a charge the authorities deny. Nuns, priests and hundreds of children, chanting “justice for Kian, justice for all” joined the funeral cortege as it made its way from a church to the cemetery where the 17-year-old was buried.



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More than a thousand turn Philippine funeral to protest against war on drugs

More than a thousand turn Philippine funeral to protest against war on drugsBy Erik De Castro and Andrew R.C. Marshall MANILA (Reuters) – More than a thousand people attended a funeral procession on Saturday for a Philippine teenager slain by police last week, turning the march into one of the biggest protests yet against President Rodrigo Duterte’s deadly war on drugs. The death of Kian Loyd delos Santos has drawn widespread attention to allegations that police have been systematically executing suspected users and dealers – a charge the authorities deny. Nuns, priests and hundreds of children, chanting “justice for Kian, justice for all” joined the funeral cortege as it made its way from a church to the cemetery where the 17-year-old was buried.



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Philippine police say teen was killed before drugs links known

Philippine police say teen was killed before drugs links knownBy Neil Jerome Morales and Martin Petty MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine police on Thursday told a Senate inquiry that a high school student killed last week by anti-drugs officers had been involved in narcotics, but officers only learned of that the day after they shot him dead. The death of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, one of thousands of Filipinos killed during the country’s fierce war on drugs, has stirred unprecedented public attention on to what activists say are executions and systematic abuses by police backed steadfastly by President Rodrigo Duterte. Roberto Fajardo, the Northern Police District chief who was relieved of his duty, told the hearing there was no specific target of the Aug. 16 operation in Manila’s Caloocan City, but police could confirm Delos Santos was involved in drugs.



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Man charged with using drone to smuggle drugs into the US 

Man charged with using drone to smuggle drugs into the US A man has been charged with using a drone to smuggle more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine into the US from Mexico. Jorge Edwin Rivera, 25,  told the US authorities that he was paid to deliver the drugs to an accomplice at a filling station in San Diego. Rivera, who is a US citizen, admitted smuggling the drugs five or six times since March. Border agents spotted the flying drone on August 8 and tracked it back to Rivera who was about 2,000 yards from the border. He was found with the methamphetamine in a lunchbox and a drone was hidden in a nearby bush. Drones have not normally been the mode of choice for smuggling narcotics into the America, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. This is because they are only capable of carrying small amounts and are regarded as less cost-effective than using boats or hidden vehicle compartments. In 2015 two people admitted using a drone to deliver 28 pounds of heroin to Calexico, a border town in California. Border agents in Arizona spotted a drone being used to drop 30-pound bundles of marijuana in the same year. Rivera has been remanded in custody and his next hearing is scheduled for September 7.  



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Furor erupts over killing of teenager as Philippines drugs war escalates

Furor erupts over killing of teenager as Philippines drugs war escalatesBy Erik De Castro and Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines police came under pressure on Friday to explain the killing of a high-school student after the 17-year-old became one of at least 80 people shot dead this week in an escalation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s ruthless war on drugs. Television channels aired CCTV footage that showed Kian Loyd Delos Santos being carried by two men to the place where his body was later found, raising doubt about an official report that said he was shot because he fired at police officers first. Witnesses told the ABS-CBN channel that the teenager did not have a firearm and police officers at the scene handed him a gun, asked him to fire the weapon and run.



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'Bloodiest 24 hours' of Philippines drugs war, as 32 shot dead by Duterte's police

'Bloodiest 24 hours' of Philippines drugs war, as 32 shot dead by Duterte's policeThirty two suspected drug dealers were killed in police shootouts in the Philippines on Tuesday night, during the bloodiest 24 hours so far of a state war on drugs that has killed over 7,000 people in the last year. The police conducted 49 “buy-bust” operations, using undercover officers to attempt to buy drugs from suspected dealers, and 14 raids, in the province of Bucalan, just north of the capital, Manila, said police superintendent Romeo Caramat. Filipino students stage a protest rally against the war on drugs in Manila Credit: EPA Describing his forces’ actions as “one time, big time”, he said that 25 of these operations had “resulted in armed encounter” during which 32 were killed and 107 were arrested. Officers also confiscated over 200 grams of methamphetamine, 786g of marijuana, and firearms. Mr Caramat told reporters that while the police tried to avoid casualties during their operations, that “we do not have control of the situation.” He repeated a common line issued by the Philippine authorities, that the suspects were killed because they fought back. “The subjects are notorious drug pushers and we all know that they are called notorious because they will refuse to be caught alive,” he said, according to local news-site, Rappler. More than 3,200 alleged drug offenders have been killed in gunbattles with law enforcers since President Rodrigo Duterte unleashed a brutal war on drugs after coming to power last year. #Philippines mandatory student drug testing may create a "school-to-cemetery track" for kids testing positive @hrwhttps://t.co/OC0MQMce3upic.twitter.com/Jpysuh1pTs— Phelim Kine 林海 (@PhelimKine) August 14, 2017 Human rights groups have accused the police of acting with impunity and deliberately staging shoot-outs to kill suspects without giving them the right to a trial. They report that at least 7,000 alleged drugs dealers and users in total have been killed, with the majority being gunned down by vigilante assassins accused of having links to the authorities. Critics of Duterte have demanded an investigation into his possible role in the violence. Rachel Chhoa-Howard, Philippines researcher at Amnesty International said it was “extremely worrying” that the killings had picked up pace in recent weeks. “This is another horrific milestone in President Duterte’s bloody ‘war on drugs’,” she said of Tuesday night’s death toll. “This shows clearly the urgent need to establish an international-led investigation into the carnage taking place every night.” Phelime Kine, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, added his voice to calls for an independent inquiry, urging the United Nations to investigate Duterte’s drugs war “slaughter.” “Duterte’s consistent cheerleading for an unlawful killing campaign that killed at least 7,000 – and perhaps as many as 12,000 – of the country’s most poverty-stricken citizens makes him complicit in the incitement and instigation of mass killings” he said. In quotes | Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines Meanwhile, HRW has warned that the safety of Philippine high school and college students could be endangered by government plans to introduce random mandatory drugs tests on campus. The ministry of education has approved a proposal to introduce drugs tests at the start of the school year to deter and determine the prevalence of drug abuse among students. “Imposing mandatory drug testing of students when Philippine police are committing rampant summary killings of alleged drug users puts countless children in danger for failing a drug test,” said Mr Kine. “Education officials should be protecting students, not putting them in harm’s way through mandatory drugs tests.”



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