BOC nearly tripled drug seizures by May’s end; haul shows rising smuggling
MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday said its haul of illegal drugs as of the end of May almost tripled compared with last year amid reportedly rising incidents of smuggling.
In a statement, the BOC said it intercepted P433.91-million worth of illegal drugs as well as other controlled chemicals from January to May, 190-percent more than the entire haul in 2013 valued at P149.59 million.
The agency reported that incidents involving the entry of smuggled illegal drugs via personal effects such as stuffed toys and toiletries, among other ordinary items have been rising.
The BOC said that the inter-agency National Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (NALECC) has lauded the bureau for recording the highest number of drug-related accomplishments from 2010 up to present. Data from NALECC, which has a sub-committee on dangerous drugs and controlled chemicals, showed that the BOC had apprehended 139 cases of smuggling of illegal drugs and chemicals worth more than P1.1 billion.
According to the BOC, its Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) has been embarking on an “active campaign against illegal drugs, with numerous apprehensions of suspected big-time illegal traffickers and their contrabands” during the past five years.
“The success of our anti-drug operations is the result of improved intelligence work and tactical approach. We will relentlessly go after these drug dealers and traffickers,” Customs ESS director Willie Tolentino said.
“Rest assured that the Customs police will not waver in the enforcement of laws and performance of their duties. We are glad to help in the government’s efforts to curb the illegal drugs trade in the country. I also laud our ESS personnel for their courage in the face of dangers to life and limb, coming in various forms with viciousness, given the sophistication and financial resources of the drug syndicates,” he added.
The BOC said that its intensified cooperation with the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has resulted in the arrest last May of Prabhjot Singh Gill, a suspected “big-time” online trader of designer drug “Ecstasy.”
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