500k worth of strand pearls seized at Naia
THE Bureau of Customs confiscated at least 8.42 kilos of strand pearls worth half a million pesos at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport which authorities said were illegally brought into the country by a foreign tourist.
Customs agents discovered pearls after the passenger’s baggage passed under the X- Ray Inspection Project (XIP) machine.
The pearls were brought in by a tourist identified as Ansari Hassan who arrived from Hongkong.
Deputy Commissioner Ariel Nepomuceno said customs agents subjected the baggage to physical examination after being marked ‘X’.
Upon inspection, the customs examiner and XIP inspector found 48 strand pearls concealed in a white plastic bag.
The passenger claimed he did not have enough cash to pay for import duties which led to the seizure of the pearls.
The pearls have been placed under custody of the BoC for further examination and evaluation.
Meanwhile, two 9mm caliber revolvers intended for shipment to China were also seized at the NAIA.
At the same time, 15 tablets of ecstasy pills were found by the EG at the DHL Warehouse in Pasay.
“We will not stop our fight against the illegal entry of contrabands into the country and collect what is due to our country,” Nepomuceno said.
“The public can expect stricter implementation of X-Ray examination since intrusive inspection of hand carried bags are not allowed unless marked by the machine,” he added.