China’s anti-drug authorities will offer their full support to operations carried out by their Filipino counterparts, following a joint operation in which 604 kilograms (1,331 pounds) of methamphetamine were seized, officials said on Monday. The spokesperson of the National Narcotics Control Commission of China (NNCC) described the operation as a major victory in cooperation between the two countries, which are determined to combat drug-related crimes following the signing of a bilateral agreement in October, Efe news reported.
The raids ended with the arrest of 13 members of a network of cross-border traffickers. Twelve suspects were arrested in Xiamen city on May 12, and one in the Philippine city of Valenzuela along with the seized drugs on May 26, after Chinese authorities told their Philippine counterparts about their findings.
The war on drugs, spearheaded by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, started in June 2016 and has resulted in more than 7,000 deaths so far, according to Human Rights Watch. Duterte has repeatedly pledged to rid the Philippines of drug traffickers and addicts on the grounds that drugs, and especially methamphetamine locally known as “shabu”, are destroying the country’s younger generations.