2 suspects nabbed, P6.8 million worth of shabu seized at Makati Bar

Robie de Guzman   •   November 13, 2019   •   591

MANILA, Philippines – Around P6.8 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) was seized at a bar in Makati City on Tuesday, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

Two suspects, identified as Edison Chua and Brian Bentigui, were also arrested after they accepted the delivery of a package containing around one kilogram of shabu.

The operation was jointly conducted by personnel from the BOC, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine National Police and the Manila International Airport Authority.

Authorities said the shabu, concealed in a water filter and shipped from San Antonio, Texas, was intercepted at the FedEx warehouse on Nov. 6. It was consigned to Chua.

The two suspects will face charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

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DOF: P244-M worth of smuggled PPEs, medical supplies seized by Customs from March to May

Robie de Guzman   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has confiscated P244-million worth of smuggled, unregistered or counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies from March 25 to May 31, 2020, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Friday.

In a statement, the DOF said the seizure is part of the BOC’s efforts to stop the illegal importation, storage and hoarding of goods deemed essential to the fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, the BOC said that while it has released various regulations to facilitate and speed up the process of importing PPEs and other medical supplies, some unscrupulous traders have taken advantage of the coronavirus-induced crisis to smuggle such items into the country.

In his report, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said he has issued 10 Letters of Authority covering the inspection of persons and premises suspected of selling or storing smuggled and/or unregistered medicines and equipment from March 25 to May 31 this year.

“Moreover, profiling/targeting of imported shipments suspected to contain contraband and other smuggled articles were intensified. As a result a total of P244.4 million-worth of smuggled/counterfeit/unregistered PPE and medicines were seized by the Bureau,” Guerrero added.

Last May 1, various PPEs, and P70-million worth of Chinese medicines that supposedly cure COVID-19 were seized by the BOC in a warehouse in Singalong, Manila.

Guerrero said in his report that the medicines, which were contained in about 360 boxes, were not registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The BOC chief also said that they have seized other medical supplies in various operations including the following:

  • P5 million worth of masks, gloves, goggles, alcohol, thermal scanners, test tubes and syringes under the name of Philmed Dynasty Supplies Corp. based in Binondo, Manila;
  • An estimated P30 million-worth of various PPEs, such as gloves, masks, and googles under the name of ELJ1 Medical Shop based in Sta. Cruz, Manila; and
  • An estimated P9 million-worth of various PPEs, such as gloves, masks, goggles from the Medical Outlet based in Rizal Avenue, Manila.
  • An estimated P80 million-worth of various PPEs, such as gloves, masks, goggles, medicines, and foodstuffs from an establishment located at HK Sun Plaza, Macapagal Blvd., Pasay City.
  • An estimated P400,000-worth of various medical supplies and medicines from Ton Ren Tang Chinese Medication, Binondo, Manila.
  • An estimated P50 million-worth of various medical equipment and supplies from Omnibus Biomedical Systems.

“The cases involving these smuggled or unregistered products are now the subject of forfeiture proceedings by the BOC before the law division of the Manila International Container Port (MICP),” Guerrero said.

Aside from these items, the BOC also reported that it seized 2.2 kilograms of imported Chinese medicines without FDA clearance last April 27, and has initiated the filing of appropriate charges against their importers and consignees.

Another five boxes of Chinese medicines containing 48,000 medicinal tablets and bundled with 238 master cases of assorted imported cigarettes; 4 drums of toluene-2.4 diisocyanate; 2 drums of propylene glycol; 2 drums of glycerol-propoxylate-block-ethoxylate; 2 drums of vacuum pump oil; 2 drums of paraffin oil; 2 drums of power steering fluid; 1 drum of sodium hypochlorite; and 2 drums of siloxane were confiscated from a warehouse in Valenzuela City last April 30.

Guerrero said these were seized and taken into custody by the BOC for failure of the owner to present the required import documents for these items.

Undeclared watches, commercial goods worth P1.1-M seized at NAIA – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Various branded watches and other commercial goods estimated to worth P1.1 million were seized at the port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Thursday.

In a statement, the BOC said the undeclared items were confiscated on June 29. These were part of a consolidated shipment from the United States of America labeled as “personal effects.”

The seized goods include branded watches such as Michael Kors, Fossils, Anne Klein, Charriol, Invicta, Kate Spade, Diesel and Tommy, as well as bags, wallets, shoes — all in commercial quantity, the bureau said.

The items were intercepted after the shipment underwent X-Ray inspection.

The BOC-NAIA said it has issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the confiscated goods for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The bureau added the case records shall also be referred to the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for a possible criminal complaint against the personalities behind the foiled smuggling attempt.

Customs seizes over P1-M worth of marijuana at Port of Clark

Robie de Guzman   •   June 19, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday said it has intercepted P1.1 million worth of marijuana from a misdeclared shipment at Port of Clark.

In a statement, the BOC said the 966 grams of marijuana was found in a shipment declared as “art-work fine” which arrived from California, USA on June 9.

The shipment was subjected to strict profiling of documents and x-ray examination, the bureau said.

“Physical examination on the subject shipment yielded two vacuum-sealed clear plastic packs of suspected fine kush weeds,” it added.

Said shipment was likewise subjected to K9 sniffing which indicated presence of illegal drugs.

Thereafter, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) chemical analysis was conducted affirming the findings of BOC-Clark personnel.

The BOC said the seized marijuana has been turned over to the PDEA Region 3 on June 18.

Also turned over to the PDEA were two other shipments containing separately one bottle of CBD Oil and six tobacco rolling papers which likewise positively resulted for presence of marijuana.

“Warrants of Seizure and Detention (WSD) were issued by District Collector Ruby Alameda against the subject shipments for violation of Sections 118 (g), 119 (d) & 1113 (f), (i) & (l) of R.A. No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to Republic Act No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002,” the bureau said.

The BOC also reported that last March 30, 2020, the Port of Clark also apprehended P13.2 million worth of marijuana bringing the total to12.535 kgs of illegal or illegal substances seized by the port in 2020.

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