Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Subic's Ang drugs case still stands: PASG

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—The smuggling case against Anthony Ang, a former business locator here suspected of smuggling in more than 700 kilos of illegal drugs last year, still stands—contrary to some reports it has been dismissed in August last year. “That report is incorrect,” according to Presidential Antismuggling Group (PASG) head Antonio Villar Jr.

Villar, who also heads PASG-Task Force Subic, the local antismuggling unit, set the record straight in a telephone interview with Subic newsmen after it was announced that an independent panel will probe alleged anomalies in handling the Subic drug bust.

“How can the case be dismissed when we have a warrant of arrest for him, and no trial has been set yet since Ang is still missing?” said Villar.

Among the angles to be investigated, the reports said, are the possible accountability of some officers of PASG and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) “who were involved in the case.”

The same reports identified the members of the investigating panel as retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Carolina Griño-Aquino, San Beda Law dean Fr. Ranhilio Aquino and retired Sandiganbayan Justice Raoul Victorino.

Villar added aside from Ang, 14 others have been charged by PASG in connection with the Subic drug bust, including Ang’s wife Estrella, Enrique Ong and Roberto Labanderos, the last two now detained.

Also named in the charge sheet are Ang’s alleged business partners Harry Yao, Robert Lee and Rudy Chua, and Chinese crew men of the boat used in smuggling the drugs—Chi Chan Cheng, Cai Wencong, Jou Jonq Rong, Yang Tren Yen, Jau Jer Woei, Wu Jia Duo, No Lil Lin and Li Jin Zhan, who are all at large.

On the evening of May 25, 2008, Ang tried to bring out of Subic’s SRF area eight boxes from the Vietnamese-registered boat FB Shun Fa Xing.

Under questioning, Ang, a registered Subic business locator, refused to open the boxes and pleaded with SBMA officials to release what he described were “sensitive computer parts.”

Subic authorities gave two conditions for the release of the boxes: that Ang produce the necessary documents, and that a 100-percent inspection of the cargo be made.

After failing after two days to produce the necessary documents, Ang went missing. It was then that the SBMA called on the PASG, and operatives of the two agencies opened Ang’s boxes in the presence of representatives from his company, Hualong International Inc., and found out that they all contained methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu.

On May 28 two more bags of shabu were discovered floating on the water at the SRF area, and operatives found 60 more bags of drugs inside a van hidden near the Hualong warehouse.

Finally, on June 7, 2008, operatives of the SBMA Harbor Patrol Branch discovered three boxes containing shabu that were anchored underwater near the area where FB Shun Fa Xing docked earlier. This brought the drug haul from Ang’s suspected operation to a total of 744 kilos of high-grade shabu that authorities said could fetch some P15 billion on the streets. Written by Henry Empeño - Business Mirror

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