LOOK: How ₱6.4B-worth of shabu was shipped from China to PH

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  • Photos of five solid steel cylinders, each a foot in diameter, stuffed with bags of shabu were shown during the lawmakers' investigation Wednesday into the alleged involvement of the Bureau of Customs in the biggest haul yet of shabu smuggled into the Philippines.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 10) — Photos of how over 600-kilograms of shabu were shipped from China to the Philippines were presented at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Wednesday.

WATCH: How shipments pass through Customs

Photos of five solid steel cylinders, each a foot in diameter, stuffed with bags of shabu were shown during the lawmakers' investigation Wednesday into the alleged involvement of the Bureau of Customs in the biggest haul yet of shabu smuggled into the Philippines.

The contraband was delivered May 24 to the warehouse of Chinese businessman Richard Tan in Valenzuela City.

Related: Senate alleges corruption in Customs over biggest haul yet of shabu smuggled into PH

Tan and another Chinese businessman Manny Li vehemently denied knowing that the shipment contained illegal drugs. They also could not say who had them shipped from China.

At the hearing, Tan said he received a call on May 25 from Customs officials in Xiamen, China, informing him that the cylinders contained illegal drugs. He then notified the Bureau of Customs.

Customs officials failed to follow protocol when they did not immediately notify the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) of the alleged shipment, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee learned.

The PDEA was informed of the shipment on May 26, after customs officials and National Bureau of Investigation had already forced open one of the cylinders, thereby "contaminating the evidence," the committee discovered.

Related: PDEA: ₱6B illegal drugs inadmissible as evidence because of 'contamination'

Tan, whose Chinese name is Chen Ju Long, is the owner of Hong Fei Logistics, the warehouse where the drugs were found in. Li was his broker and the translator of the packing list from Chinese to English.

Upon Li's translation, the information on the five cylinders containing illegal drugs had reportedly disappeared.

"The original packing list came from Mr. Chen (Tan), and he gave it to Mr. Manny, and when Manny gave the list to Mr. (Kenneth) Dong, (there are) no more five cylinders your honor," stressed Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Regional Director Wilkins Villanueva said during the probe. 

Senators refused to take the Chinese businessmen's alibi. They were cited in contempt "for lying" during the probe. The lawmakers ordered their detention at the Senate amid the foreigners' protests.

Related: Senate cites Chinese nationals in contempt during ₱6B illegal drugs probe

CNN Philippines' senior correspondent David Santos contributed to this report.