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BOC-NAIA intercepts shabu worth P400.7M; confiscates US$ 167K

Undeclared foreign currency
BOC-NAIA personnel inventory the huge amount of dollars confiscated from an arriving Korean passenger. (JERRY S. TAN)

Shabu worth over P400 million and dollars amounting to more than P167,000 were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in separate incidents recently.

Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, with BOC Intelligence Group Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy inspected a shipment from Guinea, Africa misdeclared as spare parts on March 20, 2023 and owing to a suspicious image seen by NAIA Customs X-Ray Operatives, a physical examination was conducted by the Customs Examiner which yielded 58.93 kilograms of shabu (Methamphetamine Hydrochloride), with a total estimated street value of P400,724,000 as confirmed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The Filipino male consignee with address in Quezon City is currently undergoing investigation by PDEA for initiation of corresponding inquest proceedings for the violation of RA 9165 and RA 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization Act (CMTA).

Prior to this, on March 17, 2023, the BOC-NAIA, the Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) and the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) apprehended a Korean passenger who arrived from Incheon International Airport via Asiana Airlines Flight number OZ701 at the NAIA Terminal 1 for carrying undeclared foreign currency which later was found to have amounted to 167,300 in US dollars or about P9.196 million in Philippine pesos.

Through profiling of baggage and passengers conducted by the customs examiner, the undeclared foreign currency was found concealed in a book.

Before conducting the physical examination, the passengers were asked to submit their duly filled-out Customs Baggage Declaration Form and also asked if they had anything to declare, to which the passenger replied “nothing”.

Thus, in the presence of the passengers, witnessed by the ESS and CIIS personnel, the subject baggage was physically examined by the BOC examiner with the presence of the Customs Flight Supervisor.

Said examination resulted in the discovery of undeclared foreign currencies, with actual inventory amounting to USD167,300.

After the inventory, a ‘Held Baggage Receipt’ was issued to the passengers and the foreign currencies were recommended for the issuance of a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) in violation of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) regulations of on Cross Border Transfer of Currencies and Section 1113 (L) of the Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Said passenger is now in the custody of the legal and investigation staff, Customs Police – NAIA for further investigation and possible filing of a case against him.

Meanwhile, BOC-NAIA chief Mimel Talusan reminded the public that based on existing rules, any person may bring in or out of the Philippines foreign currency up to USD10,000 or its equivalent in any other foreign currency without making a written declaration and accomplishing the Foreign Currency Declaration Form. In excess of the said amount however, the person concerned is required to accomplish the Customs Baggage Declaration Form upon arrival and the Foreign Currency Declaration Form.

Talusan said the BOC-NAIA will remain committed to fulfilling the directives of BOC Commissioner Rubio in strengthening border protection, continue its efforts and initiatives aligned with the directives of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and heighten its vigilance against illicit goods and border protection efforts in order to meet revenue targets and ensure secured trade at all times.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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