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Monday, July 15, 2024

Customs captures P56-m shabu at North Harbor

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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized shabu worth more than P56.3 million, stashed in in balikbayan boxes that landed at the North Harbor Manila from Thailand. 

Customs Commissioner Bienvenidor Rubio commended his men from the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service assigned at the Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP) for this latest accomplishment.

According to Rubio, the shabu packets, weighing a total of 8,294 grams, tested positive for illegal drugs upon testing by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

“The bureau has caught and seized quite a number of balikbayan boxes using the same modus of these individuals or organizations trying to pass on illegal drugs and other items in a seemingly harmless balikbayan box. Thankfully, our agents are on their toes and acted promptly after receiving the information,” he said.

Customs chief intelligence officer Verne Enciso disclosed that the CIIS-MICP received the information about the shipment declared by the importers to contain “household items, shoes, and motor parts” from Thailand.

The shipments arrived in the Manila seaport last April 7.

The prohibited substance and misdeclared items were discovered in the shipment after being verified through x-ray scanning and physical examination by Customs examiners.

“We’ve seen this before. This is nothing new to our agents. It only intensifies our desire to get to the bottom of this modus and put an end to the individuals, groups, and organizations who think they can bend our laws to their will. We work hard every day not only in big operations such as this but in ensuring that we will prosecute these people,” said Enciso.

The shabu was hidden inside plastic pouches that were concealed inside two electric fans and five water heaters.

Examination of the shipment revealed the presence of “white crystalline substance” totaling 8,294 grams consigned to Philippians 419 Export and Import Gen. Mdse. Corp. and with a certain Frejail Calugay as the recipient.

Some five water heaters were also used to hide the shabu packets.

The PDEA said a gram of shabu has a street value of P6,800.

The analysis of the white crystalline substance by PDEA’s Rigaku’s Raman Spectroscopy yielded positive results for methamphetamine for both direct and test tube testing.

The consignees, senders, and recipients of the balikbayan boxes will possibly face charges in 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).

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