THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency recently met with foreign express delivery and domestic courier services to strengthen the measures aimed at intercepting illegal drugs that are smuggled using the mail and parcel system.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino arranged the meeting on Friday after the recent confiscations of shabu, cocaine and ecstacy that were concealed inside packages entering the country.
“The presence of officials of international and domestic delivery express providers shows their willingness to help address the rising incidences involving mail and parcel service as a mode of trafficking dangerous drugs, “Aquino said in a statement.
Among the matters discussed were the different screening procedures to detect illegal drugs being implemented by each courier company, in particular the use of ex-rays and dogs to sniff suspicious packages.
“PDEA also requested them to provide the agency a small and secured room to inspect suspected parcels containing dangerous drugs. This would prevent possible security breaches and inside jobs,” Aquino added.
He said drug syndicates were always finding ways to transport illegal drugs, including the use of mail and parcel courier service.
“They believe that the safest way to move illegal drugs covertly is through the mail because detection is much lower due to anonymity and use of fictitious names to mislead authorities,” Aquino said.
“The absence of human contact in transporting dangerous drugs makes it nearly impossible to identify their owner.”
“PDEA remains vigilant to ensure that packages containing illegal drugs are intercepted,” Aquino said, adding that PDEA was encouraging the full participation of the courier service providers in interdiction operations.
PDEA is expected to acquire an additional 100 dogs in 2018 with training worth P500,000 for each dog. PDEA’s K9-unit now has 52 dogs and 57 handlers in 17 regions nationwide.