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P80-m assorted gold jewelry found in PAL plane, as Villaluna assures airline’s full cooperation

PAL Gold Jewelry
BOC-NAIA foils attempt of gold jewelry smuggling and seizes 24 kg of gold. (JERRY S. TAN)

PACKETS containing various kinds of gold jewelry whose worth is estimated to be at least P80 million and hidden inside an airplane lavatory, were seized by the Bureau of Customs – Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC-NAIA).

The assorted jewelry which registered a total weight of 24 kilos, was discovered by the Customs Boarding Inspector from the Aircraft Operations Division during boarding of Philippine Airlines (PAL) aircraft PR 301 from Hongkong, which arrived at NAIA Terminal 2 last November 17.

BOC-NAIA District Collector Carmelita Talusan has ordered a thorough investigation, including identifying the persons responsible for the smuggling attempt.

She vowed that the Port of NAIA, under the leadership of BOC Commissioner Yogi Filemon L. Ruiz, ensures the stringent implementation of border security measures to curb smuggling attempts as mandated by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
In a statement, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna vowed that their company is fully cooperating with authorities in the conduct of the probe.

Villaluna said that the PAL Security Department had reported to the PNP- Aviation Security Group a tampering inside the aircraft lavatory and requested for an immediate investigation upon arrival of the aircraft in Manila.

She said that upon further inspection, the PNP-AVSEGROUP discovered the items and endorsed these to the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

“PAL continues to cooperate with the PNP and the BOC to ensure an orderly and thorough probe,” Villaluna said.

“Pending the completion of the investigations of the authorities, PAL is unable to issue any further statement on the issue. Rest assured, the investigation is underway to ferret out the truth behind this incident,” she added.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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