Customs and anti-narcotics agents arrested two claimants of P600,000 worth of smuggled shipment of kush marijuana during a controlled delivery operation in Batangas over the weekend.
Joint operatives from the Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group arrested Van Joshua Magpantay and Johnyengle Hernandez in a vape shop in Lipa City.
Based on the cargo manifest, the shipment arrived at the Federal Express warehouse in Pasay City and was sent by a certain Nina Manual from California.
It was declared as “musical instruments” and consigned to a certain “Dimitria Escalona” of Batangas.
Customs airport examiners discovered the 500 grams of cannabis in two vacuum-sealed transparent plastics.
The Customs Port of NAIA immediately coordinated with PDEA and the Interdiction Task Force to conduct the controlled delivery operation that reached the City of Lipa, resulting in the arrest of the suspects and the seizure of the shipment.
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.
This operation proved effective in identifying and bringing to justice the principals, organizers and financiers of the drug trade.
The seized items were tuned over to PDEA officials who will file criminal charges against the suspects.
Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero commended the Port of NAIA under the supervision of district collector Carmelita Talusan for their accomplishments in going after drug smugglers.
He also praised the men from PDEA and the Interdiction Task Force for successfully conducting the operation.
In 2020 Customs agents seized P1.73 billion worth of smuggled drugs at the airport.
The Port of NAIA assured the bureau it remains vigilant against the entry of prohibited drugs and other contraband at the airport.