BOC seizes P28-M worth of shabu from Thai passenger at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   February 4, 2020   •   636

MANILA, Philippines – Bureau of Customs (BOC) operatives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) arrested a Thai national for allegedly attempting to smuggle into the country P28 million worth of shabu (crystal meth).

The BOC said the passenger, identified as Pakjira Janwong, was arrested around 3 a.m. Monday upon arrival at the NAIA Terminal 3 from Bangkok, Thailand.

An X-ray screening of the passenger’s luggage revealed the presence of the illegal drugs weighing 4.125 kilograms.

When subjected to physical examination, Customs personnel found white crystalline substances concealed under a false bottom lining which later tested positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride through a field test.

The suspect and the seized drugs were turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for further investigation.

The bureau said Janwong will face charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

NCRPO seizes shabu worth P81.6-M in Taguig City

Maris Federez   •   May 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has recorded one of the biggest amounts of methamphetamine hydrochloride, commonly known as “shabu”, confiscated by local police during an anti-illegal drug operation on Friday night, May 22, along C6 Road in Lower Bicutan, Taguig City.

The combined anti-illegal drug efforts of the Regional Intelligence Division/Regional Special Operations Unit- NCRPO, Regional Drug Enforcement Agency, District Intelligence Division- Southern Police District and Taguig City Police Station together with Philippine National Police- Drug Enforcement Group Special Operations Unit 4, all under the leadership of PMGen. Debold Sinas resulted in an armed encounter against the two (2) armed suspects.

The NCRPO chief identified the suspects as Ryan Labandaria and Ervyn Querubin.

The arrest was made through a buy-bust operation wherein a police operative acted as a poseur buyer.

The suspects, however, noticed that they were dealing with the police and a scuffle ensued. The suspects then fled the scene on board a black Nissan Navarra with the police on their tail.

The police said the suspects were subsequently apprehended and the operatives yielded twelve (12) large packs of dangerous drugs wrapped in Chinese Tea Bag packaging with an estimated weight of more or less 12 Kilograms of suspected shabu, and with an estimated DDB Value of Php 81.6-million.

Aside from the drugs, the police were also able to confiscate the following:

  • one .45 caliber pistol with one magazine loaded with six (6) live ammunitions;
  • one KG9 sub machine gun with one live ammunition for chamber load inserted with banana type magazine loaded with nine (9) live ammunitions; and,
  • one extra banana type magazine loaded with nine (9) live ammunitions

Police said an ambulance was called to bring the wounded suspects to hospital for medical treatment.

All evidence had also been brought to the RSOG-NCRPO for safekeeping, while the illegal drugs will be submitted to the Crime lab for examination.

Sinas, meanwhile, commended the operating teams for what the chief called a remarkable accomplishment of Team NCRPO’s war against illegal drugs.

“This accomplishment is reflective of Team NCRPO’s dedication and unwavering support of the marching order of the President and the Chief, PNP to cleanse the Metro from proliferation of illegal drugs,” Sinas said.

“With the largest amount of shabu busted by Team NCRPO so far this year, we have also minimized its possibility of destroying the lives and future of our fellowmen,” he added. — /mbmf

NAIA reopens for int’l chartered, commercial flights with homebound Filipinos

Marje Pelayo   •   May 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has opened for inbound international chartered and commercial flights on Monday (May 11).

The resumption of operations, however, is only limited to overseas Filipinos who are returning home to the Philippines, clarified the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).

CAAP added that foreign tourists and non-residents remain restricted from entering the country except for diplomats and heads or members of international missions. 

“Itong in-issue ng Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines na Notice to Airmen is only starting today hanggang June 10 but it doesn’t mean na hanggang June 10 ito (The CAAP-issued Notice to Airmen is only starting today until June 10, but it doesn’t mean it’s only up to June 10),” noted CAAP Spokesperson Eric Apolonio.

“Depende ito sa sitwasyon. Kung mag-i-improve naman, baka mag-relax iyong restrictions ng arrivals ng international flights sa airport (It will depend on the situation. If it improves, we may relax restrictions on international flight arrivals in the airport),” he added.

Inbound international chartered flights will only be allowed to land at NAIA on Mondays and Thursdays provided that they secure a clearance from CAAP and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

International commercial flights, meanwhile, are allowed during Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 

Such scheduling of flights is needed as NAIA, for now, can only accommodate 400 passengers a day so as to maintain strict physical distancing protocols and to comply with the rules imposed by the National Task Force Against COVID-19 in the conduct of COVID-19 testing and other procedures on all arriving passengers in NAIA.

Commercial flights, however, must get the approval of CAAP within 48 hours prior to its take off from point of origin. 

If the flight is coming from countries with high incidence of COVID-19 infection, the permission to allow them to proceed will depend on the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) as the overall in charge of the national government’s response on the global pandemic. 

CAAP reiterates that social distancing protocols will always be observed in every flight. MNP (with details from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

PH sends back over 2,600 tons of wastes to South Korea

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has shipped back to South Korea some 2,676 metric tons (MT) of waste materials that were stored at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority premises in Misamis Oriental since 2018.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the shipment was part of the 5,176.91 MT that the South Korean government committed to help send back to their country after these were illegally exported to the Philippines in July 2018.

The waste materials consist of plastic synthetic flakes that were illegally imported by the Cebu-based Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corp.

Guerrero said the garbage was shipped back in 151 forty-footer containers.

The first batch of 51 containers was re-exported to Korea on Jan. 25, 2019, followed by another shipment of 50 containers on Jan. 15 this year.

A third batch consisting of 50 containers was shipped to Korea last March 21.

“The re-exportation took some time because the wastes have been exposed to natural elements of heat and rain, which made it difficult to re-bag and stuff inside the containers,” Guerrero said in his report.

The remaining 2,500 MT of wastes were initially scheduled to be shipped back in March but it was delayed due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), according to Guerrero.

The community quarantine has forced most people to stay in their homes as the operation of public transportation and classes in schools were suspended. Most government offices have implemented a skeleton force while other employees were ordered to work from their homes.

“Rest assured that the Bureau will undertake all the necessary means, within the bounds of the law, in order to expedite the re-exportation of these wastes,” Guerrero said.

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