BOC seizes 5 kilos of opium-positive poppy pods; claimant under arrest
MANILA, Philippines — A parcel containing 5.05 kilograms of poppy pods with seeds positive for opium was seized at a shipping and mailing warehouse in Pasay City, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Friday.
The BOC said in a statement that the parcel, which was misdeclared as “prepared food of cereal corn flakes” from Murcia, Spain, was seized at the Central Mail Exchange on May 9.
According to Customs officials, upon undergoing X-ray screening, the package was found with “irregular and suspicious” images, prompting examiners to conduct a physical examination.
The authorities then found poppy pods with seeds weighing about 5.05 kilograms that tested positive for opium, which is a dangerous drug that is prohibited for importation.
According to the BOC, the seeds belong to the plant family from which some classified dangerous drugs are made, such as opium, heroin, and morphine.
In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration issued an advisory that banned the importation, distribution, and sale of products that contain these seeds.
The BOC said it has arrested the claimant of the package, which it did not name.
The claimant faces charges in violation of the Republic Act No. 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
“We commend the vigilance of BOC-Naia and our inter-agency partners in intercepting this illegal shipment. This is a testament to our unified efforts in safeguarding our borders and protecting our people from the harmful effects of illegal drugs,” the agency said. — Maria Liezl Projella, INQUIRER.net trainee
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