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Philippines probing drug link to Mexican cartel

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 27, 2013 at 7:10 a.m.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government is investigating how a Mexican drug cartel may have entered the country after police seized a large cache of high-grade crystal methamphetamine intended for the local market, officials said Friday.

"Good information sharing" among Filipino law enforcers led to the Christmas Day raid on an alleged drug warehouse inside a ranch in Lipa City south of Manila, said Abigal Valte, a spokesman for President Benigno Aquino III.

Police seized 185 pounds of crystal meth, known locally as "shabu," worth $9.4 million.

National police chief Alan Purisima said a Chinese-Filipino who was among three people arrested at the ranch has alleged links to Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel. The two others who were arrested were a Filipino man and his wife, identified as caretakers. The ranch where the drugs were found was leased by an American citizen, also with alleged cartel links.

The American, who is a native of the Philippines, was believed to have returned to the United States, Purisima said.

Two other suspects, both Mexicans, are at large. Purisima said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration helped identify the suspects.

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