The Bureau of Customs seized firearms accessories worth P5.5 million concealed in six balikbayan boxes declared as goods, and arrested two men who tried to claim the boxes at the Port of Zambales.
BOC-Enforcement and Security Service Director Yogi Ruiz said they received information that the several balkibayan boxes that came from the United States contain illegal items.
The six balikbayan boxes were found to contain more than 6,000 rounds of live ammunitions of TulAmmo 7.62x39 mm caliber, 166 pieces Chip Mc Cormick Power Magazine 10 Rounder .45 ACP, 39 pieces Troy Industries Inc. Part Number Mac 30, Glock Magazine 30 Rounder, Roger Box, Troy Battle Ready Magazine 30 Rounder, 92 pieces 30 Rounder Glock 9mm Magazines, 29 pieces Carbine Extended Magazines, 29 pieces Kim Pro .45 Magazines, 60 pieces Troy Industries Inc. Mag 30 Case 3E21, 30 pieces Pro Mag Saiga Magazine 12 gauge, water canister, and other gun accessories. Also found on top of the boxes are merchandises like coffee, peanut butter, brown rice to conceal the contraband.
Arrested during the operation were Vicente P. Hilario of San Isidro, San Marcelino, Zambales and Jun B. Navarro of Sta. Maria, Castillejos, Zambales who received the packages on behalf of Gregorio dela Cruz, the consignee of the balikbayan boxes. Gregorio dela Cruz is still at large.
The package was sent by Anselmo dela Cruz of 1899 Fleming Ave., San Jose, California.
Hilario and Navarro denied any knowledge of the concealed gun accessories and pointed Dela Cruz as “the final recipient of the balikbayan boxes.”
Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said the seized gun accessories could be used for insurgency.
The suspects will be facing charges for importing firearms.
Lapeña reiterated his warning to the individuals who would try to bring in smuggled goods and contrabands through balikbayan boxes to stop, adding that “we are closely coordinating with deconsolidators and freight forwarders and we are upgrading our X-ray capabilities. These can deter the entry of illegal goods in the country.”