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2017 Bureau of Customs drug smuggling scandal

On May 2017, a ₱6.4 billion worth of methamphetamine, locally known as shabu was seized in two warehouses in Valenzuela, Metro Manila. The Bureau of Customs was criticized for its alleged role in the smuggling of the illegal drugs into the country.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

On May 28, 2017, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized ₱6.4 billion worth of methamphetamine in two warehouses in Barangay Ugong of Valenzuela in Metro Manila. The BOC said that they acted on an intelligence report relayed to them by the General Administration of Customs of China. The seizure was made in accordance with a Letter of Authority issued by BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon. The BOC officials reportedly accompanied by personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency who inspected the warehouses found the contraband in five metal cylinders.[1]

InvestigationEdit

SummaryEdit

During the Senate and House hearings alleged details on how the shipment of illegal drugs was smuggled into the Philippines. On May 16, 2017, the ship Guang Ping Voyage No. 1719S, which carried the container with the seized methamphetamine arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in Tondo, Manila. The cargo of the ship was lodged on the next day by Customs broker, Teejay Marcellana, who claims that the shipment contained kitchenware. The following day, the importer of the goods, EMT Trading which is owned by Eirene Tatad paid the customs and duties for the shipment. The firm says that they were not aware of the illegal drugs inside the shipment. The shipment was then passed through the green lane where shipments were not scanned through X-ray. According to protocol, shipments accepted by first time importers or from China were not allowed to be passed through the green lane. A truck registered under Golden Strike Logistics transported the container with methamphetamine out from the MICP on May 23.[2]

Chinese businessman Richard Tan, also known as Chen Ju Long, narrates during the congressional hearing that he called the Bureau of Customs at 11pm (PST) after he was informed about the illegal drugs shipment by Zhang Xiaohui of the Chinese General Administration of Customs. Customs broker, Mark Taguba claims that Tan was behind the smuggling of the drugs who says that he was hired by the businessman to "fix" the shipment through a middle man named Kenneth Dong.[2]

By the SenateEdit

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee made an investigation regarding the alleged role of the Bureau of Customs in the smuggling of the ₱6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs. The committee headed by Richard Gordon has labeled of BOC personnel with alleged links to the case as either incompetent or corrupt.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Customs seizes P6.4-B worth of shabu in Valenzuela". Rappler. May 28, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Gavilan, Jodesz (August 14, 2017). "TIMELINE: How P6.4-B worth of shabu was smuggled into PH from China". Rappler. Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  3. ^ Parpan, Lara; Lardizapal, Cecille (July 31, 2017). "Senate alleges corruption and incompetence in customs bureau over biggest haul yet of shabu smuggled into PH". CNN Philippines. Retrieved August 17, 2017.