P5-B shabu shipment seized in valenzuela passed through boc’s express lane
Acting on a tip, authorities have seized more than P5 billion worth of high-grade “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride) which entered the country through the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) “express lane” on May 23.
The 505 kilos of drugs were found inside a warehouse in Valenzuela City last Friday by agents from the BOC’s Intelligence and Investigation Service (IIS) and the National Bureau of Investigation’s Anti-Organized Transnational Crime Division.
Based on a tip coming from their Chinese counterparts, the BOC and NBI personnel raided the warehouse on Aster Street in Paso de Blas.
The drugs, which had been divided into smaller amounts and packed into plastic bags, were found inside five metal insulators used for printing presses.
The agents became suspicious after noting how heavy the insulators were. Normally weighing just 100 kilos each, the ones in the shipment weighed almost twice as much.
Neil Estrella, BOC-IIS director, said that the people behind the drug shipment were obviously part of an organized crime group.
He added that an investigation was underway to determine who allowed the drugs to enter the country on May 23.
Estrella identified the consignee as EMT Trading, a frequent importer of general merchandise items such as plastic or metal products.
He explained that the shipments of companies which frequently import the same products usually pass through the green or express lane.
This means that these do not undergo x-ray checks or inspection.
During the raid, the insulators—metal cylinders as big as a grown man’s arm—were found to contain hundreds of plastic bags, each containing a kilo of shabu.
Estrella said that it took BOC and NBI operatives four hours to find the shipment and crack open the first cylinder.
The metal insulators were about 1/4 inch thick. One end was capped with an equally thick black piece of rubber, making it difficult for police dogs to sniff out the drugs.
To make it easier to open the remaining three other cylinders, the agents had to bring in metal grinders.