Ro-Ro vessels on cops’ radar over drugs entry

PDEA personnel conduct random paneling and inspections at Culasi Port, Brgy. Culasi, Roxas City. (PDEA-6/file photo)

By Jennifer P. Rendon

The series of anti-illegal drug operations have apparently failed to deter narcotics distributors from bringing in more supply of drugs into Western Visayas.

The most common point of entry: the Roll On-Roll On (RORO) ports scattered all over the region.

Anti-illegal drugs police operatives have been keeping a tight watch on roll-on-roll-off vehicles entering Western Visayas.

“We monitored that they’re usually the ones carrying a high volume of drugs being sneaked into the region,” Captain Glenn Soliman, Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit (RPDEU) 6 team leader, said.

But keeping track of Ro-Ro vehicles is easier than done.

Soliman said that K-9 drug-sniffing dogs are not always available in ports of entry in Western Visayas despite that RORO facilities operate 24 hours a day.

He added that drug couriers have also become ingenious.

“They put the parcels of illegal drugs in rotten vegetables and fruits,” he said.

Some use chemicals or agents that might affect the accuracy of the K-9 dogs’ sniffing capability.

Soliman said they couldn’t just check vehicles for drugs unless they have solid evidence to prove their claims.

Truck drivers are tempted to venture into carrying the contraband because of the high pay.

“Sometimes, we could into get a breakthrough if the other crew would tip off the activity,” he said.

But with numerous arrests in recent months, the RPDEU-6 said that apprehensions and seizures of high volume of illegal drugs will continue this coming Holidays and January.

“For December, there will be a lot of occasions and pushers will see this as an opportunity to trade drugs,” Soliman said.

He added that the celebration of the Ati-Atihan Festival in Aklan and the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City will also be a come-on for distributors to trade shabu.

“That’s why, we are working doubly right now. We are also coordinating with lower units on how to carry out future operations,” he said.