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Interagency team seizes P58.31M shabu shipment in Manila

BOC NAIA PDEA seizes shabu in Manila
Members of the composite team inventory the seized shabu in Manila (JERRY S. TAN)

A shipment from Nigeria containing methamphetamine hydrochloride, also known as shabu, was intercepted in San Andres, Manila by a team from the Bureau of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC-NAIA), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) and NAIA-Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA IADITG). About 8.575 kilos of the illegal drugs valued around P58.31M were hidden in packages of assorted dried spices.

The subject shipment was imported from Nigeria and declared as “food stuff“. However, upon evaluation of covering import documents and verification, the same was found to have been illegally imported into the country without the necessary import permits from the DA-BPI.

Accordingly, BOC-NAIA immediately coordinated with DA-BPI as part of due diligence and to further check for other possible violations of the subject importation prior to possible condemnation/disposal by DA-BPI.

BOC-NAIA and BPI likewise coordinated with PDEA and NAIA IADITG to verify possible inclusions of illegal drugs in the subject packages considering that the same came from Nigeria, which was previously identified as possible source of illegal drugs.

Upon 100% physical examination, the operatives of the joint inter-agency units found that the package also contained 8.575 kilos of white crystalline substance inside white plastic bowl concealed in the packages of various dried spices, which were later confirmed through PDEA Field Test as Shabu.

The illegal drugs are now in custody of PDEA for further investigation for profiling and case build-up against personalities involved for possible prosecution for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to Section 1401 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016.

This effort is aligned with the directives of Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz, as part of the marching orders of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., to curtail the smuggling of drugs and ensure the implementation of effective border protection measures.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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