Onions help hide illegal drugs
By Jonathan Vicente, Correspondent of The Manila Times
Sunday, February 2, 2003

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has warned that illegal drug syndicates have been smuggling narcotics through legal shipments of onions.

In an intelligence report, the PDEA explained that the scent of onions is strong enough to keep the drugs from being detected by sniffing dogs deployed at the various container ports in the country.

The strong odor of onions can drown the smell of the drugs hidden inside the van containing the shipment of onions, explained an anti-narcotics investigator.

The Department of Interior and Local Government earlier received a report that drug syndicates are set to abandon the laboratories being maintained here due to the string of raids conducted by the police.

DILG records showed that a total of 8,324 anti-drug operations were conducted nationwide from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31 last year, where 8,873 people were arrested, mostly peddlers and small-time drug suppliers.

Around P4.26-billion worth of illegal narcotics, chemicals, equipment and raw chemicals for drugs were seized in those operations.

The new modus operandi is to import drugs, the DILG said.

DILG Secretary Jose Lina earlier ordered a crackdown on illegal drugs shipments hidden in containers of imported frozen meat after the PDEA reported that members of drug syndicates have registered as importers of meat from China, India or Korea.

“The international drug rings have run out of places here where they can process the raw ingredients of prohibited drugs. That could be the reason why they go back to drug smuggling,” Lina said.