Government agents assigned at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Port of Clark have intercepted smuggled shipments of cocaine and shabu worth P27.5 million from Brazil and London.
Two separate operations conducted by agents of the Bureau of Customs, the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group, and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency also resulted in the arrest of three suspects, including an American tourist identified as Stephen Joseph Szuhar.
Szuhar was caught carrying a luggage containing 3.7 kilos of cocaine worth P19.6 million.
The suspect arrived at the Manila airport from Doha, Qatar Tuesday night via Qatar Airways flight QR 932 from Brazil.
In Clark, the Bureau of Customs formed a joint team with PDEA to conduct a controlled delivery operation in Bacoor City in Cavite following the arrival of a shipment containing shabu worth P7.87 million.
The authorities arrested two claimants of the shipment, but the suspects were not identified.
The shipment, which was declared as “unsolicited gift-baby soft toys for personal use,” arrived on Sept. 26 from Victoria, London.
Prior to the operation, the Port of Clark placed the shipment under physical examination after X-ray scanning inspector noticed a suspicious image.
The examiners found two hats with design and one yellow green plastic bag containing two of Star Wars Mandalorian Plush Toys. Each item was discovered with three blue plastics containing white substances.
The port immediately coordinated with the PDEA to conduct a controlled delivery operation in Cavite, also on Tuesday after confirming that the shipment contained 1.14 kilos of shabu.
Clark district collector Alexandra Lumontad issued a warrant of seizure and detention against the shipment for violation of Sections 118 (g), 119 (d), and 1113 (f) of the Republic Act No. 10863 in relation to Section 4 of RA 9165 otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.