Customs Commissioner Bien Rubio on Tuesday commended his men from the X-ray Inspection Project (XIP) for the arrest of a Liberian national who tried to smuggle a shipment of shabu worth more than P55 million at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The luggage brought by suspect Philip Campbell underwent x-ray screening by active operatives of XIP headed by lawyer Ma. Lourdes Mangaong. The XIP flagged the luggage as suspicious, potentially containing illegal drugs.
A Customs examiner from the Arrival Operations Division (AOD) then conducted a 100% physical examination and discovered 8.1 kilograms of shabu hidden inside yellow powdery spices, with a street value of P55,338,400 as confirmed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
The foreigner arrived at the NAIA Terminal 3 via Qatar Airways flight number QR 934 from Doha, Qatar on June 4, but initial investigation showed that his port of origin was from Lagos, Nigeria.
“We were able to intercept the prohibited substances thru the X-ray scanners despite the absence of derogatory information,” Mangaoang told Manila Standard.
The seized luggage will undergo seizure and forfeiture proceedings as authorities investigate the foreigner for violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9165, or the Comprehensive Drug Act, and RA 10863, also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
Commissioner Rubio also extended his gratitude to the personnel of PDEA, AOD and NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group for their valuable support in the operation.
The Customs chief reiterates the agency’s commitment to preventing the entry of illicit goods into the country. He said they will continue to intensify border control and enhance its coordination with partner agencies to combat illegal drug smuggling.
Rubio also emphasized the importance of joint efforts among law enforcement agencies in combating drug trafficking and ensuring the safety and security of the people