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Gov’t nabs P76m ‘kush’ in Manila port operations

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Combined operatives from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) seized more than P76 million worth of high-grade dried marijuana or “kush” at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

Agents from the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) intercepted over 63 kilos of smuggled weed in total last Tuesday, Feb. 27, following an alert order from MICP district collector Romeo Allan Rosales. Authorities examined the shipment at the MICP examination area container freight station 3 and found the contraband in 126 heat-sealed transparent plastic bags.

“Based on the information we received, the alert order was issued against this shipment because of the suspected presence of illegal drugs. We found around 12 kilos of marijuana per balikbayan box during the inspection,” said CIIS Director Verne Enciso.

The shipment was consigned to a local freight forwarding service based in Pasay City and addressed to a recipient in Dasmariñas, Cavite. It was originally declared as consolidated balikbayan boxes/personal effects from Thailand.

“We are preparing the necessary documents to start looking into these individuals. Stopping the entry of these shipments into the country is one thing, but the bigger part of the operation is making sure someone is held accountable for such activity,” Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Juvymax Uy said.

Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio attributed the success of the operation to experienced agents aided by new technology. “This
operation shows our commitment to keeping illegal drugs off our
communities because protecting the people is our duty,” he said.

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Charges of violation of Section 118 (prohibited importation and
exportation) and Section 1400 (misdeclaration) in goods declaration in relation to Section 1113 (property subject to seizure and forfeiture) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and Republic Act No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) will be filed against the owners of the shipment.

Editor’s Note: This is an updated article. Originally posted with the headline “Gov’t agents foil entry of smuggled ‘kush’ from Thailand.”

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