Customs, PDEA intercept P1.8 billion shabu from Vietnam at Manila North Harbor

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DAVAO CITY (March 23) —Customs and anti-drugs personnel intercepted 276 kilos of suspected shabu worth P1.8 billion shipped from Vietnam and reached Manila North Harbor Friday night.

Philippine authorities were informed by Vietnamese authorities of the contraband after a similar shipment with 300 kilos of illegal drugs was seized in Ho Chi Minh City last Wednesday.

In a press statement on Friday, the Bureau of Customs said the shipment came “from China” but did not say whether Ho Chi Minh was just a transshipment point for the illegal drugs.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director Aaron Aquino said illegal drugs were shipped from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, aboard the vessel  Callao Bridge V145E .

The intercepted drugs, were found inside a 40 ft. container consigned to Wealth Lotus Empire Corporation. The container which was declared to contain plastic resin arrived on March 17, 2019 at the Manila North Harbor.

PDEA Director Aaron Aquino inspects the meth from Vietnam.-PDEA PHOTO

Acting on the received report, the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) proceeded with the profiling of the subject container aboard the vessel and narrowed the suspicion towards one shipment.

MICP District Collector Atty. Erastus Sandino B. Austria immediately ordered x-ray examination followed with the full physical examination of the container of the suspected shipment with the presence of representatives from the PDEA, and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

When the container was inspected, Customs and PDEA found 12 sacks containing items wrapped in clear cellophane and sealed in foil packaging designed to look like tea products. Upon testing the sample of the subject substance, authorities were able to confirm that the items were shabu.

Based on the report, the intercepted shipment of drugs was processed by customs broker Jane A. Castillo with business address at Sta. Lucia Street, Intramuros, Manila.

The Bureau Customs, according to Austria, is always on the lookout for smuggling attempts, and we take all intelligence information on the existence of drugs seriously. We inspect shipments just within hours after we receive information that it may contain contraband.”

Through strengthened linkages, proper coordination, and intelligence sharing, Customs and PDEA were able to foil this shipment of illegal drugs.

The contents of the intercepted shipment will be inventoried, and the illegal drugs found have been turned over to PDEA for the proper handling of the substance and investigation purposes.“

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the BOC will immediately revoke the customs accreditation of the involved consignee and customs broker, and appropriate charges will be filed against them.”

Guerrero, in a press statement said “I have ordered all District Collectors to alert and examine all other similar items to ensure that our border is safe from the possible entry of illegal drugs.”

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Aquino said the Customs and PDEA will file appropriate criminal and administrative charges against those involved in the importation of illegal-drugs,” he added.-Editha Z. Caduaya/

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