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P1.8B misdeclared Valium, Mogadon tablets seized

DRUGS worth at least P1.8 billion were seized by the Bureau of Customs–NAIA, together with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG).

The drugs, totalling 35,345 tablets of diazepam (Valium) and nitrazepam (Mogadon), were discovered by BoC-NAIA frontliners during inspection and examination of parcels at the Paircargo warehouse.

Records show the cargo was shipped by a certain “Muztaza and brother” from Pakistan and was misdeclared as “health care products”.

Diazepam (Valium) and nitrazepam (Mogadon) are included in the 1971 United Nations Single Convention on Psychotropic Substances under Schedule IV. Both have addictive properties and characteristics, and considered as highly regulated drugs.

Upon further investigation, the seized tablets were unlawfully imported into the country without the required License to Operate and Certificate of Product Registration from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), and Import Permit from PDEA pursuant to the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The 35,345 tablets of diazepam and nitrazepam were turned over December 4, 2020 to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for further investigation, case profiling and build up against personalities involved in the unlawful and fraudulent importation, and prosecution for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act (Republic Act 9165) in relation to Sections 118 (Prohibited Importation), 1113 (Goods Liable for Seizure and Forfeiture) and 1401 (Unlawful Importation) of the Republic Act 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Since January 2020, in pursuit of the anti-illegal drugs campaign of Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, the BoC-NAIA with the active partnership of PDEA and NAIA-IADITG already intercepted 43 different shipments of illegal drugs with a total value of P1.72 billion.

District Collector Carmelita Talusan lauded the BoC-NAIA frontliners as they remain focused in the performance of their duty of and the continued partnership with PDEA and NAIA IATG in protecting the country’s border against the importation and exportation of illegal drugs, substances and other contraband that are threat to national security and public health despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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