Customs agents assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International airport intercepted a smuggled shipment of shabu worth P4.5 million at a bonded warehouse in Pasay City.
The 640 grams of methamphetamine hydrochloride were concealed in two cans of chocolate wafer declared as “toy present” and shipped from Las Vegas, Nevada,USA and is consigned to a certain resident of Hagonoy.
“In an apparent attempt to conceal the said shabu, the same were described in the covering Airway Bill as “Toys/Present”. However, ensuing physical examination thereof revealed the same to contain chocolates; stuffed toys; candy; slippers; socks; and 2 cans of chocolate wafer where the illegal drugs were hidden and used to conceal the illegal drugs,” the BOC said.
Customs-NAIA examiners under the supervision of District Collector Carmelita Talusan discovered the smuggled shipment during the examination conducted at DHL Cargo Warehouse.
“It was discovered while our Customs examiners were conducting 100 percent physical examination of unclaimed DHL cargoes intended to expedite the disposal of abandoned and/or overstaying cargoes at the NAIA Customs Bonded Warehouses,” said Talusan.
The seized drugs were turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for further profiling and case build up and for the filing of criminal charges against the importer for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to Section 1401 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
The Chemical Laboratory Analysis conducted by the PDEA confirmed the seized White Crystalline Substance as Methamphetamine Hydrochloride otherwise known as “shabu”.
Talusan said the latest discovery of illegal drugs was the result of the continued efforts of the Bureau of Customs in coordination with PDEA and other members of NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.
Last year, authorities used a controlled delivery scheme in their operation to arrest the consignee of a P6.8 million worth of smuggled drugs from San Antonio, Texas, also in the USA.
The suspect, Edison Chua, was placed under arrest after receiving the package delivered by “FedEx personnel” at a sports bar located at the corner of Kalayaan and Dona Carmen Streets in Barangay Poblacion, Makati City.
The shipment was misdeclared and concealed in water filters.
The authorities supervised the transport of the package from FedEx warehouse all the way to Makati City resulting in the arrest of Chua and his companion identified as Brian Bantegui.
The controlled delivery technique is used when a consignment of illicit drugs is detected and allowed to go forward under the control and surveillance of law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence against the organizers of such illicit drug traffic.
This operation has been proved effective in some countries in identifying and bringing to justice principals, organizers and financiers of the drug trade.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero commended the Port of NAIA for its accomplishments.
Guerrero added that the agency in collaboration with the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency, will strengthen efforts to curtail all attempts to smuggle dangerous drugs into the country.