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BoC intel group probes drug shipments

  • Written by Paul M.Gutierrez
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 507

THE Bureau of Customs’ Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) is continuing with its investigation on those behind the entry into the country of equipment, machineries and other ‘precursors’ being used by syndicates to manufacture illegal drugs in the country.

Retired Marine colonel, Neil Estrella, a consultant of Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon assigned at the CIIS, disclosed to People’s Tonight that they are not letting go of their investigation even as the sensational discovery last month of two huge “shabu laboratories” in Pampanga province has already died down.
   
“We are ‘backtracking,’ recovering all the pertinent (customs) documents to find out who are behind all of this,” said the former spokesperson of the Philippine Marines.
   
Estrella was referring to the discovery last September 7 of a clandestine shabu laboratory found inside a piggery farm in the town of Magalang. A much bigger facility was also discovered by the authorities last September 25 in the town of Arayat.
   
Over the years, authorities have repeatedly stumbled on clandestine shabu facilities in the country, all of them later on found being operated by members of Chinese drugs syndicates.
   
As most of the equipment discovered are imported from abroad, Estrella said those behind the importations are now the subject of their ongoing probe. “Binabalikan namin ang mga dokumento,” he added.
   
He also bared that “some” of the equipment for the establishment of a clandestine shabu laboratory “are still at Customs” but did not elaborate due to the sensitivity of the issue.
   
Meanwhile, the BoC under Faeldon has not much to show in terms of generating additional revenues and in the apprehension of smuggled goods during his first 100 days in office.
   
In a report released to the media, Faeldon, who assumes the customs post right after Pres. Duterte was sworn into office last June 30, specifically mentioned the apprehension of illegal drugs at the international airport by the Enforcement Group under Atty. Arnel Alcaraz valued at P60.96 million.
   
Also mentioned was the seizure of “several shipments” at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) valued at P4.68 million. In sum, the value of apprehended shipments by the bureau since Faeldon became customs chief was a measly P65.64 million.
   
In terms of additional revenue, Faeldon said additional revenue of P1.4 million were collected at the MICP and the Port of Manila for ‘undervalued’ shipments while P50.6 million was generated during the auction of abandoned and forfeited goods at the MICP for a grand total of P52 million