Court denies bail of 4 HK nationals arrested inside ‘floating shabu lab’
The Olongapo Regional Trial Court denied the bid of four Hong Kong nationals arrested inside the floating shabu laboratory in Zambales to post bail for their temporary liberty.
In a 26-page order issued Wednesday, Olongapo RTC Judge Raymond Viray denied the petition for bail filed by Win Fai Lo, Shu Fook Leung, Kam Wah Kwok and Kwok Tung Chan.
The court said that while they are still at the initial stage of the proceedings, “there is no clear showing that the prosecution’s case is weak as to entitle the accused to bail.”
The court said even as its order denying bail to the Hong Kong nationals is still preliminary and appreciation of the facts may change as the trial progresses, “for now and based on the evidence thus far presented, the court is not satisfied that the State’s evidence is weak to warrant the grant of bail to the accused.”
The four were arrested last July 11, 2016 in a raid conducted by a joint team from the Philippine National Police, Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency inside the vessel at the municipal water of Barangay Calapandayan, Subic, Zambales.
During the raid, the four presented their passports but failed to produce documentation for the vessel. During the search, authorities also found that the bag, which Shu Fook Leung admitted was his, had a resealable plastic bag containing a white crystalline substance believed to be shabu. Shu Fook Leung and Win Fai Lo are both boat engine operators while Kam Wah Kwok was the boat captain and Kwok Tung Chan contracted the job.
The court said that while it appeared that the vessel appeared to be a fishing vessel doing legitimate business, the presence of equipment used in manufacturing shabu “is prima facie proof of manufacture of dangerous drug.”
“In addition, shabu in its finished product was found inside the boat and which leads the discussion to the other charge of drug possession,” the court said. /je