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PDEA chalks up P7.9B drug haul

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency has seized at least P7.6 billion worth of illegal drugs from January to August.

“Our program consists of supply reduction, demand reduction and harm reduction. For the first eight months of 2019 alone, we have confiscated 1,130 kilos of illegal drugs worth P7.6 billion,” he said.

“That is how big our problem is,” he added.

Most illegal drugs are smuggled by mail and parcels from the United States and through the Golden Triangle syndicate that would ship the drugs in Southeast Asia, Australia and other European countries, he said.

Aquino and Vice President Leni Robredo attended the third anniversary event of the Bahay Pagbabago Community-based Reformation Center in Dinalupihan, Bataan.

Robredo, for her part, lauded the efforts of Bataan, the Philippine National Police and the community as a whole in making the program possible.

She underscored the importance of society for having a stake in the government’s anti-illegal drug campaign.

Meanwhile, a regional trial court in Manila has ordered the forfeiture of P23 million worth of drug proceeds in favor of the government, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said Thursday.

In a decision promulgated on Aug. 30, 2019, the cour granted the AMLC’s petition for civil forfeiture of over P23 million, which stemmed from the proceeds of drug trafficking.

On Sept. 18, 2014, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency - Region 1 (PDEA-RO1) implemented a search warrant at the residence of Genaro Taliño in Brgy. Becques in Tagudin, Ilocos Sur and found bags of shabu and six bank deposit slips.

PDEA-RO1 referred the deposit slips to the AMLC for financial investigation. It later filed a petition for civil forfeiture before the Manila court.

The petition covered the accounts, including 11 other related accounts.

The RTC granted the petition and made permanent the asset preservation order dated Jan. 18, 2016. The decision also directed the forfeiture in favor of the government and placed under the authority and disposal of the AMLC, the 15 bank accounts with balances amounting to over P23 million.

As of 2018, the AMLC has turned over almost P49 million cash and seven hectares of land, estimated to be worth P10 million, to the Bureau of Treasury. The recent RTC decision brought AMLC’s total turnover to over P82 million worth of assets.

The AMLC investigates suspicious transactions, covered transactions deemed suspicious, money laundering and terrorism financing activities, and violations of the Anti- Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA), as amended and the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012 (TFPSA).

The AMLC also gathers evidence to establish probable cause required in the filing of applications for bank inquiry, petitions for freeze orders, civil forfeiture cases, and criminal complaints for money laundering.

Topics: Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency , Leni Robredo , Bahay Pagbabago Community , Anti- Money Laundering Act , Bureau of Treasury
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