THE Olongapo City regional trial court yesterday sentenced four Hong Kong nationals to life imprisonment after their arrest in 2016 off Subic Bay, Zambales while on board a floating shabu laboratory.
Branch 74 Judge Raymond Viray sentenced Shu Fook Leung, Kwok Tung Chan, Wing Fai Lo and Kam Wah Kwok -- all from Hong Kong -- to life imprisonment and ordered each to pay P5 million fine.
However, the court dismissed the charges of manufacture of illegal drugs.
The four HK nationals were apprehended in July 2016 by members of the PNP-Anti Illegal Drugs Unit, the Philippine Coast Guard, Bureau of Immigration and Bureau of Customs on a vessel in Subic Bay in possession of at least 470 grams of shabu, and a hydrogenator, an equipment used in the manufacture of the illegal drug.
The shabu was being manufactured on the boat -- a 50-meter fish carrier -- and would later be dumped overboard to be retrieved for distribution.
Authorities said that the suspects were not able to produce any registration documents, prompting the search.
The search with the help of K-9 units indicated the presence of illegal drugs on the ship.