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P25-m drug bust spoils party — BoC

Customs agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have intercepted parcels containing 14,720 tablets of ecstasy, a dangerous party drug, worth ₱25 million. 

Commissioner Isidro Lapeña Jr. said his men assigned at the airport also arrested Joan Reynoso, 42, a resident of Cavite, who claimed ownership of the parcel Friday night at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City.

CONFISCATED. Photo shows P25 million worth of party drug ecstasy being confiscated by the Bureau of Customs operatives at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City. Andrew Rabulan
In a related development:

• A report in “Balitanghali” beamed nationwide Saturday said an estimated ₱3.4 million worth of shabu was seized by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in its operation Friday night in Parañaque City during a buy-bust operation inside a private subdivision there.

The report said one suspect, identified as Arnel Sabal of Cotabato, was nabbed but his accomplice, identified only as Oscar, was able to escape.

According to PDEA National Capital Region director Joel Plaza, Sabal, who denied PDEA’s allegations, was “a big-time and high-value target.”

Lapeña said the drug pills were concealed inside a desktop computer central processing unit when it arrived at CMEC last Aug. 4, 2018 from France.

He added the team of Customs operatives waited for 13 days for the claimant to appear and get the package. 

Reynoso, when interrogated, said she did not know that something was hidden inside the CPU.

Reynoso and the prohibited drugs were turned over to the PDEA for proper disposition and for the appropriate filing of criminal charges against the suspect.

Airport district collector Carmelita Talusan said for the past months, Port of Naia had been apprehending illegal drug shipments in compliance with the Bureau of Customs commissioner’s directive to secure the borders and the anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte. 

Ecstasy apprehensions include 962 tablets of ecstasy from Netherlands last April and another 1,003 tablets from Germany in July.

Manila International Airport Authority general manager Eddie Monreal ordered his men to be on alert in and outside the airport against illegal drug trafficking to discourage international and local drug syndicates from using the Philippines as a transshipment point or dumping ground for their illegal substances. 

Shabu, marijuana and ecstasy are the top three narcotics distributed in the streets and these prohibited substances are manufactured by Chinese, Taiwanese and Mexican drug syndicates, according to PDEA.

The authorities vowed the government’s crackdown on drug dealing in the country would continue with the goal of catching protectors and financiers of the illegal drug trade.

Topics: Ninoy Aquino International Airport , drug bust , ecstasy , dangerous party drug , Bureau of Customs , BoC
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