NAGA CITY — Through a tipster, a composite team of police operatives uncovered Saturday an abandoned shabu laboratory in a far-flung sitio (sub-village) in Garchitorena, Camarines Sur province, police said Monday.
Senior Superintendent Romero Tambungui, police provincial director, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the police team uncovered raw materials for shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) in the laboratory in Sitio Badi, Barangay (village) Binagasbasan.
He added that the raw materials were buried near a concrete warehouse structure believed to be the laboratory.
Tambungui said investigators had estimated that the place had been abandoned for three to four months, adding that they were still trying to identify the owner.
Recovered in the abandoned lab were one and a half bags of ephedrine, 35 kilograms; 60 bags of sodium hydroxide, 150 kg; iodine and red phosphorus, 30 bags; and 16 containers of hydrochloric acid, 320 liters — all ingredients in making shabu, said Tambungui.
Police Inspector Edsel Villalobos, forensic chemical officer, of the Crime Laboratory, who conducted the on-site analysis during the raid, said the recovered ingredients were still “reactive,” meaning they were still usable.
He said the 35 kgs. of ephedrine recovered could produce 70 kilos of shabu which would amount to at least P70 million.
Police Superintendent Eliciar Bron, Bicol regional police spokesperson, said it was the first drug laboratory raided in the region.
Until the raid, Bicol was never known for the manufacture of illegal drugs but only as a trading shipyard of drugs coming from other places.
Bron said civilian informants in the area revealed that the laboratory had been operational since last year.
He ordered all police unit commanders to intensify their drive against illegal drugs and to verify unconfirmed reports on the existence of other shabu laboratories in other provinces.