WHAT WENT BEFORE: Drug raid in Valenzuela
Acting on a tip from their Chinese counterparts, Bureau of Custom’s Intelligence and Investigation Service (BOC-IIS) agents raided on May 26 warehouses in Barangays Paso de Blas and Ugong in Valenzuela City.
They were assisted by agents from the National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Organized Transnational Crime Division and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
They were able to seize 605 kilos of high-grade “shabu” (crystal meth) estimated to be worth P6.4 billion, which entered the country through the BOC’s “express lane” on May 23.
The drugs, which had been divided into smaller amounts and packed in plastic bags, were found inside five metal insulators used for printing presses.
The metal insulators were about 0.6 cm thick. One end was capped with an equally thick black piece of rubber, making it difficult for police dogs to sniff out the drugs.
Neil Estrella, IIS director, identified the consignee as EMT Trading, a frequent importer of general merchandise items such as plastic or metal products.
In a statement, the BOC identified the broker as Teejay Marcellana.
The National Narcotics Control Commission of China identified the suspects behind the shipment as “Chen” and “Li.”
Estrella said the shipments of companies that frequently import the same products usually passed through the green or express lane. This means that these do not undergo X-ray checks or inspection.
In a recent House hearing, customs officials blamed the chief of the BOC’s risk management office, Larribert Hilario, for failing to stop the shipment’s entry, as it did not undergo inspection.
Hilario has been suspended. The accreditation of the importer and customs broker involved has also been suspended effective May 30 by the IIS. —Inquirer Research
Source: Inquirer Archives