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DRUG LORD ARRESTED IN MANILA

In what officials called the "biggest catch" in the history of an anti-trafficking drive, police have arrested the Manila head of a major Hong Kong drug syndicate, plus nine of his fellow gang members, Vice President Joseph Estrada announced Wednesday.

Estrada, who heads a presidential anti-crime commission, identified the jailed drug lord as Hong Kong national Kwok Kam Wa, the "local chieftain" of 14-K, a notorious organized-crime group based in Hong Kong.The vice president added that Kwok had tried to buy his freedom with a $2 million bribe.

"I nearly accepted," Estrada joked, noting that his anti-crime commission only has a budget of $480,000.

The vice president told reporters that police arrested Kwok and one other gang member Sept. 17, during a raid on the pair's suburban Manila safe house.

Following interrogation of the men, authorities raided other 14-K safe houses in greater Manila, arresting eight additional gang members and seizing several firearms.