Government agents have arrested a Chinese national who arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport for carrying assorted credit and automated teller machine cards and a skimming device used in hacking ATM bank accounts.
Wen Sheng Zeng, 36, of Guangzhou, China, arrived at the Naia Terminal 1 on Christmas Day on board China Southern flight CZ3091.
Agents from the Bureau of Customs X-ray Inspection Project team alerted immigration examiners after images of hundreds of cards and skimming devices were detected in Zeng’s overweight luggage.
Customs-Naia deputy collector Ramon Anquilan said hundreds of cards, ATM skimming devices, and a sales machine to be used for illegal online transactions were found inside Zeng’s luggage.
Zeng is now detained at the Customs-Naia office while the authorities prepare a criminal case against him before the Pasay City Prosecutors Office.
The Bureau of Customs recently acquired 19 new x-ray machines to prevent the entry of contraband via personal belongings and hand-carried luggage at airports.
Acquiring the machines, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña Jr. said, would address the increased smuggling and drug trafficking in airport terminals.
Lapeña said the 10 fixed-baggage machines, seven hand-carried baggage machines, and two mobile x-ray machines worth P172 million were recently installed by winning bidder Casedist Inc. at airport terminals 1, 2 and 3.
The Customs chief said the Rapiscan-brand machines would also help the Naia-Customs office to attain its P50-billion revenue target for 2017. He explained that taxable items can be easily detected by the scanning equipment.
The bureau came up with a policy not to open, or subject to inspection, the checked-in luggage of passengers unless it was marked “X” indicating it may contain taxable items.
Customs designated two lanes—red and green—for passengers and crew of arriving international flights to choose where to exit. The green lane is for passengers and crew who have nothing to declare or have no goods for purposes of import duties and taxes, with goods that can be admitted free of import duties and taxes or do not carry any goods, which are subject to import prohibition, restriction and regulation.
The red lane is intended for passengers of international airlines with goods to declare for purposes of import duties or taxes, those with goods above the exempted Customs limits, or carrying goods or articles prohibited, controlled or regulated by several statues.