Authorities on Monday served a freeze order on the bank and credit accounts, insurance policies, real properties, and motor vehicles of suspected drug personalities in connection with the P1.8 billion worth of shabu seized in 2019 at Manila North Harbor.
Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director general Wilkins Villanueva said the Court of Appeals 5th Division issued a resolution granting the petition for the issuance of a freeze order against the assets of Julie Hao Gamboa, alias Kimberly, and spouses Ruben and Teresita Taguba.
The freeze order covers 173 bank and credit accounts, insurance policies, 17 properties, and five motor vehicles of the said individuals.
Officials from PDEA, Anti-Money Laundering Council, and the Bureau of Customs led by Villanueva and AMLC executive director Mel Georgie Racela posted notices of freeze order on two of the suspects’ real properties which has a conservative market value of more or less P70 million in Quezon City.
Customs Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Raniel Ramiro said the case is in connection with the seizure of P1.8 billion worth of shabu on March 22, 2019 at the Manila International Container Port.
Combined operatives of PDEA Intelligence and Investigation Service (IIS), PDEA Regional Office-National Capital Region (RO-NCR), and BOC intercepted a total of 276 kilograms of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu, which were concealed in tea packs and came from a shipment originating from Vietnam.
“Our anti-illegal drugs operations have been successful in intercepting several high-profile cases recently. We assure the public that we are doing our best to protect our borders and secure the country from the entry of illegal drugs,” Ramiro said.
“Since the bureau is at the helm of the country’s border security, we’ve been working extensively with the MICP against illegal smuggling in our ports,” he added.
On May 31, 2019, PDEA filed a criminal complaint before the Department of Justice against Xu Zhi Jian, alias Jacky Co, a Chinese national, and 16 others for the shabu shipment.
Xu Zhi Jian, owner of the shipment, has no registered businesses and properties under his name, but managed 70 bank accounts that transacted hundreds of millions of pesos from 2004 to 2019, including transactions with entities that are the subject of separate drug-related civil forfeiture cases.
“The posting of preservation orders on the two properties sends a strong message to potential drug money launderers that despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, the PDEA, AMLC and BOC continue to intensify efforts against personalities belonging to the upper echelon of the drug trade,” Villanueva said.
“We will be closely working together to track down the trail of drug money, arrest and forfeit the assets of drug money launderers,” the PDEA chief added.