THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) foiled another attempt by international drug syndicates to bring illegal drugs into the country with the arrest of a Salvadoran national and the confiscation of over 3 kilos of cocaine last Monday, May 22, 2023 at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Port of NAIA district collector, Atty. Yasmin Mapa, in her initial report to Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, said that unbeknown to the male suspect, the port is already on the lookout for his arrival after earlier receiving information from their “foreign counterparts” about the illegal drugs he was carrying in his luggage.
Mapa said the suspect, whose name remains undisclosed as of this posting, arrived at the NAIA via Doha, Qatar, on board Qatar flight QR 932 from Brazil.
Thorough examination by the BOC and the members of the Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG) led to the discovery of 3.12 kilos of cocaine valued at P16.536 million.
It would be the second time that the port foiled an attempt by ‘drug mules’ to bring in cocaine into the country since last March 21, 2023, when a Turkish national was arrested while carrying 3.945 kilos of cocaine worth P29 million (see also Pinoy Exposé, March 21, 2023).
More drug seizures at Port of Clark
Meanwhile, alert customs officers and anti-drug operatives at the Port of Clark continue to frustrate efforts by drug traffickers to smuggle illegal drugs into the country.
In a statement, the BOC said that last May 18, 2023, P2.12 million worth of ‘ketamine,’ a banned substance, was discovered by vigilant X-Ray Inspection Project (XIP) officers misdeclared as “chocolates” and found hidden inside a glass of ‘Imperial Rose Scented Candle.’
The subsequent ‘controlled delivery operation’ conducted by joint BOC and PDEA operatives resulted to the arrest of a 23-years old male claimant in Pasig City while his alleged cohort remains at large, the BOC said.
The operation follows the arrest, in another controlled delivery operation last May 15, 2023 of two unidentified suspects in Baliuag, Bulacan who allegedly accepted the package, also declared as ‘chocolates’ but containing several plastic bags of shabu worth more than P1 million.
Earlier, last May 5, 2023, more than a kilo of high-grade marijuana also known as ‘kush’ was seized at the port valued at P1.696 million.
District collector Atty. Elvira Cruz noted that since the start of the year, the port has already foiled the entry of illegal drugs with an aggregate value of more than P60 million.