Government agents on Friday foiled an attempt of two Chinese nationals to smuggle assorted medicines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The foreigners, identified as Zhang Xin and Huang Wen Cong, concealed the assorted Chinese pharmaceutical products weighing eight kilograms in plastic bags and brought the items without the necessary permits from the Food and Drug Administration.
Customs personnel assigned at the NAIA Terminal 2 International Arrival area noticed the images of medicines when they placed the foreigners’ luggages on X-ray scanning machine.
NAIA Customs collector Carmelita Talusan warned air travelers that importation and exportation of pharmaceutical products without FDA clearance is a violation of Republic Act 9711 or the Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009 in relation to provisions of RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
“Port of NAIA with our vigilant frontliners and X-ray machines in place will continue to protect the borders against entry and exit of prohibited goods and regulated goods without necessary permits,” she said.
Meanwhile, Talusan vowed that there would be no pork or other meat products brought by passengers that would not be detected by Customs personnel.
She gave the assurance on the heels of the reported relief of the entire Bureau of Animal Quarantine personnel at the airport for their alleged failure to follow order of Department of Agriculture in connection with the outbreak of African Swine Fever.
Talusan said the animal quarantine people has always been informed by Customs personnel if there are meat interceptions at the arrivals or in warehouses.
BAQ personnel, for their part, said they were only relying on information that they get from the Bureau of Customs.
“If there is an interception of meat or other meat products, whether at NAIA arrival areas or in warehouse, the Customs personnel will immediately turn over it to the animal quarantine,” a BAQ agent, who requested not to be named, said.
The African Swine Fever is a highly-contagious swine disease that had already wrecked-havoc among swine farmers in many countries, according to reports.
The disease, it said, was difficult to detect unless in its advance stage as there was no sign among infected pigs.