BOC seizes 323 kilos of ‘shabu’ worth P2.2B hidden in meat jerky
MANILA, Philippines — Customs agents impounded a shipment of meat jerky after it was found concealing 323 kilograms of suspected crystal meth or “shabu” on October 4 at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said the shipment of meat jerky came from Mexico and arrived in MICP on February 24 but no one came to claim it until a Pre-Lodgement Control Order (PLCO) against it was issued on September 29.
The order, which prevented the shipment from getting out of MICP, was released after the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) received “derogatory information” on the cargo. A shipment with PLCO is considered smuggled and believed to contain illegal goods.
Authorities said the shipment was consigned to a certain Salesbeat Within OPC by Logistica Integral Aduanal Meyma and Aime Express Logistics SA DE CV.
The BOC said the cargo was scanned through an x-ray and physically checked on October 4 in the presence of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine National Police-Drug Enforcement Group (PNP-PDEG), and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), among others. During inspection, the shipment was discovered to contain approximately P2.2 billion worth of the illegal drug that were hidden inside the laminated packaging of beef jerky.
Deputy Commissioner for Customs Intelligence Group Juvymax Uy and District Collector Romeo Rosales assured the public that the bureau will continue monitoring borders to stop any attempt to smuggle in illegal substances.
“Our officers continue their dedication to our border security mission, which led to this latest shabu interception. Their drive, vigilance, and alertness on a daily basis made this operation possible. We remain committed in keeping our communities safe from these narcotics while also facilitating lawful entries of goods,” Rosales said.
Enough to kill 25 million people
Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda lauded the BOC for its recent drug haul. He said the amount of shabu that the agency seized could be enough to kill 25 million people.
Salceda explained in a separate statement on Thursday that the BOC, under the leadership of Commissioner Bien Rubio, was able to confiscate around P35.4 billion worth of shabu since February.
“In Subic, they caught some 560 kilos, or a combined worth of around P3.9 billion based on the per-kilo estimates of the Dangerous Drugs Board. In Manila International Container Port, they caught around 4.45 tons, which is close to P31.5 billion in value. So, you’re looking at a combined value of around P35.4 billion,” the lawmaker said.
Salceda was referring to the BOC’s interception of a shipment from the Port of Subic containing around P3.8 billion worth of shabu, which was then moved to Mexico, Pampanga during a controlled delivery operation.
“The lethal dose of meth is around 200 mg. So, what was caught is enough to kill 25 million Filipinos all at once. This is a serious accomplishment on the part of the BOC, but it also signifies that there is a serious systemic problem,” he added.
Salceda said the information he received are similar to reports that the illegal substance was concealed using tea bags and beef jerky.
“The shipment in Subic was caught hidden in tea bags, while the one in MICP was hidden in a shipment of beef jerky,” he noted. “If criminal syndicates think that they can use our ports to ship shabu into the country, then they probably believe that anything can pass through our ports.”
“So, we have to be stricter and more vigilant against smuggling, because if drugs can come in, pretty much anything can come in,” he added.