A shipment of P1.632-billion shabu from Malaysia was seized at the Port of NAIA recently, resulting in the arrest of two Chinese claimants during a controlled delivery in Cabanatuan City, Oct. 30, Friday night.
Declared as “work bench tables,” the illegal drug shipment was shipped by Ywlee 87 Trading of Subang Jaya in Selangor, Malaysia. It arrived at the Port of NAIA on Oct. 24.
It was consigned to a certain company identified as Allejam International Trading.
Upon confirming that the shipment indeed contained methamphetamine hydrochloride packed in 240 plastic containers, the Bureau of Customs (BoC) and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) launched a controlled delivery in an attempt to arrest the persons involved.
The controlled delivery pushed through at 11:30 p.m. in Cabanatuan City where the two Chinese claimants were arrested upon claiming the cargo.
In a press briefing at the Port of Manila Saturday, Oct. 31, the Customs bureau presented the seized illegal drugs stuffed in tea packages, the same packages of shabu in previous drug haul allegedly connected to the Golden Triangle Drug Syndicate.
PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva said the two Chinese claimants, whose identities are withheld, are the “sources of illegal drugs” in the province, stressing that the shipment was “intended for the Philippines and not just a transshipment.”
Wilkins also said that drug smugglers are now shifted to sneaking in their contraband to the airports as “smugglers feel that seaports have now more teeth in securing the borders against drug shipments.”
According to Assistant Commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla, the company was used as a consignee but did not have knowledge on the contents of the cargo.
“Its seems na yung company na pinagdadalhan, pinapayagan nila na magamit sila na hindi nila alam yung pinadadalang kargamento (It seems that the consignee-company agreed to be used without knowing the contents of the arriving cargoes),” Maronilla said, adding that profit is what drives companies to enter into this kind of setup.
“Yung mga shipper maghahanap lang naman yan ng sasalo and most often hindi alam ng consignee ang sinasalo nila. Walang warehouse ito, sinusundo lang ‘yan sa labas at yun ang nangyari kagabi (Shippers are only looking for claimants and most often the claimants or consignees do not know what they are claiming. This shipment does not even have a warehouse, they just pick it outside upon delivery),” Wilkins said.
The Port of NAIA also formally turned over the seized illegal drugs to the PDEA on Saturday for further profiling and case build up against the importers and other involved individuals.
The Customs and PDEA said they now have a lead on the other sources in the Philippines but refrained to divulge more information. (With a report from Ariel Fernandez)