Customs agents at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport have intercepted smuggled parcels of ecstasy pills at the Central Mail Exchange Center warehouse in Pasay City with an estimated street value of P23.5 million.
The shipments with different consignees came from The Netherlands and Belgium, and were declared as coffee beans and granules, fishing bath, energy-saving LED lights and a Disney-Pixar brand child pillow.
The authorities examined the parcels and discovered seven packages containing 13,824 tablets of ecstasy.
The contraband was sent to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency for disposition and for the filing of criminal charges against the owners.
Meanwhile, the authorities have seized P81.62 million worth of marijuana in seven separate operations over the past three weeks, the Philippine National Police said Monday.
In a statement, PNP chief Archie Gamboa said the authorities also raided three marijuana farms in response to his order to step up the campaign against illicit drugs—even as PNP units worked to impose quarantine measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Drug traffickers are taking advantage of the pandemic under the mistaken notion that the PNP is more preoccupied with health concerns,” Gamboa said.
“Be warned. We will intensify our operations and will continue going after the syndicates big and small.”
The series of coffee bean smuggling has prompted officials at the airport to intensify their campaign by subjecting more parcels to rigid document profiling, x-ray scanning and physical examinations.
The field test conducted at the PDEA Chemical Laboratory have confirmed that the seized tablets were ecstasy, a party drug that killed five people during a party four years ago in Pasay City.
The authorities say criminal syndicates are still daring to smuggle prohibited drugs using the Philippine postal system.
Customs personnel have been seizing illegal drug in compliance with the Customs commissioner’s order to secure the borders.
Shabu, marijuana and ecstasy are the top narcotics being distributed in the streets, and those are being manufactured by Chinese, Taiwanese and Mexican drug syndicates, according to PDEA.
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