PDEA to charge former Customs official over importation of illegal drugs

UNTV News   •   September 6, 2017   •   5491

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_090517_PDEA

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will file charges against former and incumbent officials of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for allegedly violating Section 4 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The charges, PDEA said, stemmed from the illegal importation of more than 600-kilograms of shabu which BOC failed to intercept.

On the program ‘Get it Straight with Daniel Razon’, NCR PDEA Director Wilkins Villanueva said they will file charges against the personalities involved in the entry of illegal drugs.

These include former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and former Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Neil Anthony Estrella.

“The moment, they were able to open a crate of drugs, they should have stopped and called the PDEA because it’s illegal drugs. They no longer have to validate the other contents of the crate because they already have seen illegal drugs,” Villanueva said.

Former Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Neil Anthony Estrella, on the other hand, said he is ready to face the charges to be filed against him.

Estrella stands firm that he has no involvement in illegal drug trade, and wonders why a partner agency against illegal drugs are targeting them instead of going after those responsible for bringing illegal drugs in the country.

Former Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has yet to respond to the filing of charges against him.

Meanwhile, the amount of 600-kilograms of shabu intercepted in Valenzuela is not more than P6-billion.

Villanueva said the illegal drugs were only worth P3.05-billion based on their computation of P5-million per kilogram.

The NCR PDEA Director claims the BOC has just jacked up the amount.

Villanueva further notes that the percentage of those who stopped using illegal drugs has not even reached one percent of the more than one million individuals who surrendered under the anti-drugs campaign of the government.

He said the facilities built to rehabilitate those who surrendered are not effective.

Villanueva said PDEA was also able to observe that there had been no changes in the prices of illegal drugs.

This means, Villanueva notes, many are using illicit drugs despite the continuous operations against it.

“Kasi pag kumonti ang gagamit bababa ang presyo, kasi kakaunti ang gagamit magiging ordinary na eh pero habang dumadami ang gagamit tataas ng tataas yan high ang demand eh,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva also explained that the previous administration did not prioritize the country’s problem on illegal drugs.

“When did the previous administration mentioned illegal drugs in their SONA? As far as I can remember, former Pres. Gloria Arroyo mentioned it sometime in 2003 to have the campaign against illegal drugs reach the barangay level. That’s only once before President Duterte. Imagine for so many years, the problem on illegal drugs was no mentioned in SONA,” Villanueva added.

Among PDEA’ suggestions are for the government to also focus on making effective its rehabilitation of surrenderees under the Anti-Illegal Drugs Campaign. The agency said campaign would become successful if those who surrendered will be fully rehabilitated. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News and Rescue

Over P500,000 worth of smuggled rice seized in Cebu port

Robie de Guzman   •   August 12, 2020

More than half a million pesos worth of smuggled rice was intercepted at the Port of Cebu, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Wednesday.

The BOC said the shipment containing 495 bags of Myanmar White Rice was seized on August 10.

“This latest apprehension is the result of the intelligence and investigative work of the Port’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) headed by District Commander SPAS Jerry M. Arizabal,” the bureau said in a statement.

The bags of rice were intercepted after the ESS received information that a shipment that arrived at the Port of Cebu from Kaohsiung, Taiwan on July 23 was loaded with imported rice.

The bureau’s investigation showed that the inward foreign manifest declared the shipment to contain personal effects. It was consigned to a certain Theresa Lawas of Barangay Pansoy, Municipality of Sogod, Cebu.

However, verification with Barangay Pansoy revealed that it had no resident named Theresa Lawas.

With this information, Acting District Collector Atty. Charlito Martin Mendoza issued a Pre-Lodgement Control Order against the shipment on 29 July 2020.

“A 100% physical examination was subsequently conducted by Customs Examiner Odilon Bustamante in the presence of representatives from the ESS, X-ray Inspection Project (XIP), Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI)-Cebu Chapter,” the BOC said.

The physical examination yielded 495 bags of Myanmar White Rice, and no personal effects as stated in the manifest, it added.

The bags of rice were also not covered by any Sanitary and Phytosanitary Clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry.

Consequently, a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the shipment for violation of Section 1113(f) and (l) par. 5of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The BOC reminded importers to properly declare their goods, and identify themselves in shipping documents. It also called on the public to report to the Bureau any information about illegal shipments that are attempted to be brought into the country.

BOC seizes P23.5M worth of ecstacy concealed in coffee, kids’ toys

Robie de Guzman   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 13,824 tablets of party drug Ecstacy, with an estimated street value of P23,500,800, were seized in Pasay City, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement, the BOC said its personnel at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) intercepted the tablets at the Central Mail Exchange Center warehouse.

The tablets were found in seven parcels addressed to different consignees, it added.

The shipments, which reportedly originated from the Netherlands and Belgium, were declared as coffee and kids’ toys.

The bureau said the parcels were subjected to inspection after its personnel found the weight of the packages “suspicious.” The examination was also conducted following a discovery in July of smuggled illegal drugs through “coffee beans” from abroad.

Upon physical examination, Custom examiners found the tablets in different colors and concealed in toys and wrappers of coffee.

Field tests conducted by Customs Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency confirmed that the seized tablets were methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as Ecstacy.

The BOC said it already turned over to PDEA the seized illegal drugs for further profiling and case build-up against the importers and other individuals involved in the possible prosecution for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to Section 1401 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Public warned against scammers using fake BOC emails, web links

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday warned the public against unscrupulous individuals taking advantage of initiatives to promote the use of online systems amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic by posing as bureau personnel to extort money from their victims.

The BOC issued the warning following reports of people claiming to have communicated with individuals allegedly from the bureau who in turn ask payment for the release of their packages.

The bureau said these scammers are using fake Bureau of Customs e-mail accounts and websites as means to swindle their victims.

The BOC reiterated that the official website of the Bureau of Customs is http://customs.gov.ph and it is using e-mail address boc.cares@customs.gov.ph to cater to stakeholder concerns.

The agency said it is now coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation to take down these fake accounts and bring the scammers to justice.

It also reminded the public to remain vigilant against criminals who take advantage of technology to commit unscrupulous acts.

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