A JOINT operation by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has busted “one of the biggest drug shipments in the country’s history,” the BoC said in a statement on Wednesday.
Seized at the Manila International Container Port on Tuesday were about 500 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu estimated at P3.4 billion. The bureau said the drugs were hidden in two magnetic scrap lifters stored in a 20-foot container.
“The port operator of the MICP has sent a notice of abandonment on July 30 to the MICP district collector, 30 days after the consignee failed to file an entry for the shipment which arrived on June 28,” Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said.
While waiting for the examination, the BoC received information from PDEA about a shipment to MICP allegedly containing illegal drugs.
Upon inspection of the abandoned shipment from Malaysia, BoC and PDEA authorities found two magnetic scrap lifters inside which were concealed the shabu.
MICP District Collector Vener Baquiran has issued a hold order to prevent shipment’s release from BoC’s custody.
Preliminary investigation showed that the shipment belongs to Vecaba Trading of No. 712 Galicia St., Sampaloc, Manila. Records show that the company is owned by a certain Vedasto Cabral Baraquel and is not accredited with the BoC, the agency said in its statement.
“This is the biggest shipment seized since I assumed as the BoC chief in August 2017,” Mr. Lapeña was quoted in the statement as saying.
“The fact that we prevented the shipment to go to the market is an indication that some BoC employees do not want to cooperate with them. I would like to warn them if they still have dealings with drug syndicates because we will eventually catch up with them,” the bureau chief said.