Customs seizes P120.36-M worth shabu masked as chair, stools

The Bureau of Customs-Port of Clark seized on June 7 at least 17.7 kilos of shabu, with an estimated street value of P120.36 million, hidden in parcels declared as chair and bar stools.

Four packages bearing the same description as the parcels seized on June 2 arrived at Clark Freeport Zone on June 5.

The parcels from California were consigned to Christian Santillan Frias, Robert Alejandro Nazareno, Dominic Espinosa Gallardo of Quezon City, and Gina Fernandez Santiago of Taguig City.

The senders are Rania Frias, Maria Nazareno, Vanessa Gallardo, and Rania Fernandez.

“With the heightened border control against illegal drugs, the customs examiners conducted a profiling on the incoming shipments with description of goods and country of origin strikingly similar to the scheme of Port of Clark’s latest seizure,” Commissioner Isidro Lapena said.

The x-ray examination and K9 units and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) sniffing dogs resulted positive for organic substances.

“After close coordination with PDEA, the four packages were subjected to 100% examination where the customs examiners and PDEA agents found two packs of crystalline substances in each of the four boxes. The PDEA agents utilized a drug meter reader detector which registered positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride,” Commissioner Lapena explained.

Port of Clark Acting District Collector lawyer Lilibeth Sandag issued the Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the subject shipments for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), R.A. 10863 under Section 118 (g), Section 119 paragraph (d), Section 1113 paragraphs (e), (f), (i) and Section 5 (Transportation of Dangerous Drugs) Article II of Republic Act No. 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).

A controlled delivery operation was conducted by the joint elements of Customs Anti-
Illegal Drugs Interdiction Task Force (CAIDTF) and PDEA Regional Office III today to the delivery addresses which led to the arrest of Everlyn R. Lunzaga who received the parcel consigned to Nazareno.

“We are suspecting that the sender of these packages is international drug cartels. Only recently, we put up several x-ray machines at the three terminals of NAIA to stop incidents of airport smuggling. Because of the stricter border protection in NAIA, perhaps the drug smugglers are now diverting their smuggled and contraband goods in other airports such as Port of Clark,” the Customs chief said.

Recently, the Bureau of Customs through close coordination with PDEA intercepted 11.5 kilograms of shabu estimated to be worth P74.8 million. This led to the arrest of four suspects who received the parcels during the controlled delivery operation.

In June alone, a total of P195.16 million worth of illegal drugs is seized in Clark Freeport Zone concealed in chairs, bar stools, and griller. CUSTOMS