Sunday, May 30, 2021

Olutanga police seize nearly 3,000 pounds of high explosive chemical

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Policemen seized 53 bags of ammonium nitrate weighing nearly 3,000 pounds - which is widely used by rebels and terrorists in the manufacture of explosives - following the arrest of a man in the southern province of Zamboanga Sibugay, a regional police spokeswoman said.

Major Shellamie Chang said policemen, armed with a warrant, had arrested Buddy Asamuddin in the village of Pulo Mabao in Olutanga town on May 29. Chang said the warrant of arrest was issued by Judge Anthony Isaw, of the Regional Trial Court Branch 29 in Ipil town.


“Confiscated during the operation were 53 sacks of ammonium nitrate, four blasting caps and one detonating cord (which measures) 25 inches and one detonating cord (which is) 26 inches," she said.


The man, who works as a carpenter and a fisherman, is currently being investigated and it is unknown whether the suspect is a member of a rebel group or not, or engages in blast fishing which is also illegal in the country.


Corporal Davy Sanchez, who is investigating Asamuddin, said each bag of ammonium nitrate weighs about 25 kilos. “The ammonium nitrate was repacked in a 25-kilo sack, all 53 bags, and we are still investigating the suspect, who is also a fisherman,” he told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner by phone from his office in Olutanga town, some 289 kilometers from here.


In February 23, 2019, maritime police also seized 1,100 pounds of ammonium nitrate after a sea chase that led to the capture of 5 men - Ismol Malsani, Kadoh Kahamkam, Jinali Marosali, Makamil Malan and Mastal Malsani in Zamboanga City.


The patrol spotted the suspicious boat off Taluksangay village and gave chase after the vessel did not stop for security inspection. The boat was eventually apprehended and its passengers arrested for transporting 20 (25 kilos) bags of ammonium nitrate which was made in South Korea by Huchems Fine Chemical Corporation.


In August 2017, police here also confiscated 660 pounds of ammonium nitrate and dozens of blasting caps in a raid on a house in the coastal village of Arena Blanco. The house owner, Pagal Aliasan, 25, admitted purchasing the chemical from the black market in Tawi-Tawi, one of 5 provinces under the Muslim autonomous region, and sold homemade explosives to fishermen. (Mindanao Examiner)

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