ZAMBOANGA CITY – Police seized half a ton of ammonium nitrate, widely used by rebels and terrorists in the manufacture of explosives, following a sea chase that led to the capture of 5 men in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga.
A maritime police patrol spotted a suspicious boat off Taluksangay village on Saturday and gave chase after the vessel did not stop for security inspection. The boat was eventually apprehended and its passengers arrested after policemen discovered its cargo of 20 bags of ammonium nitrate.
Each bag is weighing 25 kilos. The ammonium nitrate, made in South Korea by Huchems Fine Chemical Corporation, is a common ingredients in improvised explosives and is banned in the Philippines.
Police were interrogating those arrested Ismol Malsani, Kadoh Kahamkam, Jinali Marosali, Makamil Malan and Mastal Malsani to determine whether if they are members of any rebel group or who was behind the foiled smuggling of the chemical to Zamboanga.
Just this month, a group of communist insurgents surrendered to the military and handed over 40 kilos of ammonium nitrate and 190 blasting caps they used in making homemade bombs in Compostela Valley’s Monkayo town, also in the restive region.
Last year, police raided a house in Taluksangay village and seized two one-liter bottles containing ammonium nitrate and weapons from Samandi Imbas and Sagumbahar Akbar.
In August 2017, police here also confiscated 300 kilos 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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