BOC seizes P200K worth of Kush weeds, liquid marijuana

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2020   •   209

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (BOC-NAIA) on Tuesday said it has intercepted a shipment allegedly containing kush weeds and liquid marijuana with an estimated value of P200,000.

The BOC-NAIA said the shipment was confiscated at the Central Mail Exchange Center in Pasay City on Monday, January 6.

The parcel was intercepted by the bureau in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.

The shipment, which was declared to contain a pair of shoes and chocolate, was identified to have originated from California.

The parcel was subjected to further examination after authorities detected the scent it emitted which was similar to marijuana shipments previously intercepted by authorities.

It was found to contain four packs of suspected kush weeds and ten cartridges of liquid marijuana.

The shipment was consigned to a certain Xavier Martin Bulos from Sampaloc, Manila, who was arrested when he claimed the parcel.

The BOC said Bulos will face charges for violation of RA 9165 also known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization Tariff Act.

PH immigration denies entry to Mongolian, Briton at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   January 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Immigration officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have recently barred a Mongolian woman and a Briton from entering the Philippines.

Bureau of Immigration port operations division chief Grifton Medina said they barred the entry of a Mongolian woman who is wanted for beating her husband, and is a suspected terrorist from the United Kingdom.

The Mongolian woman, identified as 33-year old Unurjargal Altantsetseg, was intercepted last Friday upon her arrival at the Mactan, Cebu International Airport from Incheon, South Korea.

Medina said the woman is a subject of a red notice issued by the Interpol in April 2019 due to a case of assault and maltreatment that was lodged against her before a court in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.  

He added the battery case stemmed from an incident that happened on March 9, 2019, wherein Altantsetseg allegedly beat her husband during an argument, which resulted in the victim becoming blind and sustaining serious physical injuries.

Meanwhile, Medina said that a 51-year-old Briton was denied entry last week at the NAIA Terminal 3 after they received information regarding the unidentified Briton’s alleged terrorist links.

“Intelligence information received from foreign counterparts described him as being associated with a known terrorist group or being involved in terrorist activity, thus he was included in our alert list,” Medina said.

Both passengers were issued exclusion orders and booked on the first available flight to their port of origin.

Liquid marijuana worth P700k seized from warehouses at NAIA – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Some 330 cartridges of liquid marijuana were seized from various warehouses at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the BOC said the drug cartridges, which were confiscated from air cargo parcels, were estimated to worth P700,000.

Customs personnel examining the air parcels initially discovered a total of 11 packages containing liquid marijuana.

The bureau said it coordinated the seizure of drugs with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group.

The cartridges of liquid marijuana were then turned over to PDEA for further investigation of its consignees and senders.

The BOC stressed that the importation of “hempseed” and “Cannabidiol” is still considered illegal and may be subject to seizure pursuant to the provisions of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

BI braces for heavy congestion at airports during Chinese New Year

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2020

A thermal scanner monitors all arriving passengers inside Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City, south of Manila, Philippines, 10 September 2014. EPA/DENNIS M. SABANGAN

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Monday said it is expecting a heavy volume of passengers in the country’s airports, especially at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), during the celebration of the Chinese New Year.

BI port operations division chief Grifton Medina said they are expecting a 10 to 15 percent increase in departures during the Chinese New Year which will be celebrated on Saturday, January 25.

“Last year we saw a 14% increase in departures, this year the increase might be more or less the same,” he said in a statement.

“We are expecting a surge of Chinese residents in the Philippines who wish to spend the Chinese New Year abroad. It may result to heavy congestion of our airports, which could be avoided if they process and pay their fees before heading to the airport,” he added.

The BI said the Philippines is host to tens of thousands of Chinese immigrants and non-immigrants. In 2018 alone, a total of 1.3 M Chinese citizens were recorded to have entered the country.

In order to avoid long queues at immigration counters in NAIA, the bureau urged foreign travelers to process their re-entry fees at any of its offices before proceeding to the airport.

Under Philippine immigration policies, foreign nationals who are registered holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas are required to pay exit and re-entry permits every time they leave the country.

Official receipts of their re-entry permit fees should be presented before they are cleared for departure.

“We expect that the surge could congest our immigration cashiers, hence we are appealing to registered aliens to pre-pay their fees to avoid the congestion,” Medina said.

The BI said that reentry fees can be paid at its main office in Manila and at immigration field, satellite and extension offices nationwide.

“The BI has almost 60 offices nationwide that may cater to this need. It’s a very quick process, which will only take a few minutes. We also have offices located in malls and other convenient locations,” he said.

“Coming to the airport with the receipt at hand makes processing faster, allowing departing aliens to avoid the rush and relax before their flight,” he added.

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