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7 Chinese arrested in raid at drug laboratory in Philippines

Associated Press Associated Press 8/09/2016

MANILA, Philippines — Seven Chinese citizens were arrested in a raid on a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory inside a pig farm north of Manila, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency said Thursday.

The agency said nearly half a kilogram (one pound) of methamphetamine with a street value of around 2.5 million pesos ($5,400), about 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of the drug ingredient ephedrine, laboratory equipment and various chemicals were confiscated in the raid Wednesday in Pampanga province.

Charges of illegal drug possession and manufacturing are being prepared against the six men and one woman, it said.

The drug laboratory in the basement of a stockroom was able to produce up to 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of methamphetamine a week and may have been built in the hog farm to mask the foul smell from drug production, officials said.

President Rodrigo Duterte, who has launched a massive crackdown on illegal drugs, has said Chinese citizens are involved in the drug trade in the Philippines and that drugs have been smuggled from China to the Philippines.

More than 2,800 suspected drug dealers and users have been killed and nearly 700,000 others have surrendered out of fear of being killed since Duterte took office on June 30, according to police.

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