Shabu shipments to Valenzuela warehouse began in June 2016, says caretaker
A warehouse caretaker who was the lone suspect arrested for the smuggling of P6.4 billion worth of shabu (crystal meth) told lawmakers that the shipment was actually the fourth of a series of deliveries made to his Taiwanese bosses.
Fidel Anoche Dee, who is currently detained at the Valenzuela City Jail, said the shipments were delivered in June 2016, January 2017, March 2017, and finally May 2017. He said the warehouse was rented out by Jhu Ming-Jyun since May 2016.
The last shipment referred to the shabu seized by the Bureau of Customs and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority in a May 26 raid that has been dubbed as the largest haul of smuggled drugs in the country’s history.
Only Anoche Dee had been charged in connection with the shabu haul, for the nonbailable offense of drug possession in violation of Section 11 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act.
He made a tearful appeal during the House ways and means committee hearing: “I did not do anything wrong. I cannot accept my situation.”
Another first-time witness, Nanie Koh of the auction and cargo disposal division under Port Operation Service director James Layug, surfaced to deny that she accepted grease money to facilitate the shipments at the port.
During the hearing on Monday of the House committee on dangerous drugs, licensed broker Mark Taguba, who was cloaked with legislative immunity, said he gave pay-offs to a certain “Tita Nanie” of the Import Assessment Service (IAS) to obtain tariff codes to avoid having his shipments flagged.
IAS Director Milo Maestrecampo then denied having an employee named Nanie, while Layug admitted that Koh works for his office.
Invited to air her side on Wednesday, Koh said: “That was not me.”
Meanwhile, Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, in a statement, said he found President Rodrigo Duterte’s silence for the past two months amid this controversy to be “suspicious.”
“Duterte has been suspiciously silent on an issue involving illegal drugs of this scale. The President kills small-time drug addicts in the streets while tons of drugs like these just pass through,” said Alejano, who had unsuccessfully tried to get him impeached.
Alejano said the controversy raises questions about the competence of the country’s border protection authorities. He also pointed out that Chinese authorities failed to intercept the shipment at the source.
“As the administration boasts the warming and closer relations of the Philippines and China, maybe the President could nudge his friends in China for their cooperation in this transnational problem on illegal drugs. It is not a new knowledge that China is one of the major sources of illegal drugs,” he said. JPV
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