BOC: No intel on drugs in magnetic lifters

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 11) — The Bureau of Customs said that they were not alerted about a possible foreign drug shipment in relation to the ₱6.8 billion worth of shabu that had entered the country recently.

The estimated one ton of shabu stored in magnetic scrap lifters was allegedly brought in by a Taiwanese drug shipment, using Malaysia as a transhipment port, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) reported Friday.

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said that an alert from law enforcement agencies is needed before the Bureau can open all shipments for a period of time.

“That is when the information is necessary, because if we have information that drugs are coming in at a certain period of time, what I can do is order the alert on all the shipments coming in for a certain period of time,” Lapeña said in a press conference Saturday.

 

The commissioner added that had he been alerted, he wouldn’t have allowed the shipment in the country.

“I will not tolerate a shipment as big as that to enter our country, but I did not know,” said Lapeña.

Lapeña has recommended for relief district collector Vener Baquiran, who was in charge of the Manila International Container Port when the shipment allegedly entered the country, while investigation is ongoing.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the shipment is proof that drug syndicates are feeling the pressure from the administration’s anti-drug campaign.

“We view the latest reported foreign drug shipment as a sign that big-time drug manufacturers and smugglers are becoming bolder with a dwindled local supply as they feel the pressure from the government’s campaign against illegal drugs,” Roque said in a statement.

Roque added that Philippine authorities are working with their foreign counterparts to investigate the ₱6.8 billion worth of illegal drugs that had entered the country.