The Bureau of Customs on Thursday turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency a seized shipment of shabu worth P4.5 million found in an unclaimed parcel at DHL Warehouse in Pasay City.
The 640 grams of methampetamine hydhrochloride was concealed in two cans of chocolate wafer declared as “kid toy present” and shipped from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.
Authorities did not identify the owner of the shipment but said that the consignee is a resident of Hagonoy, Bulacan.
Customs - Ninoy Aquino International Airport examiners discovered the contraband late last July while they were conducting 100 percent physical examination of unclaimed DHL cargoes. The examinations were intended to expedite the disposal of abandoned and/or overstaying cargoes at the NAIA Customs Bonded Warehouses.
Aside from the prohibited substance, the package also contained imported chocolates, stuffed toy, candy, slippers, and socks.
Customs NAIA district collector Carmelita Talusan said the discovery of illegal drugs was the result of the continued efforts of the bureau in close coordination with PDEA and members of NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.
Last year, authorities used a controlled delivery scheme in their operation to go after the consignee of P6.8 million worth of smuggled drugs from San Antonio, Texas, also in USA.
The consignee, Edison Chua, was apprehended 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 Brian Bantegui.
The controlled delivery technic 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 proven effective in some countries in identifying and bringing to justice principals, organizers and financiers of the drug trade.