MANILA — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) has noted a significant rise in the number of drug trafficking incidents involving foreign express delivery and domestic courier services in 2018.
PDEA Director General Aaron Aquino said Tuesday the number of intercepted illegal drugs via courier services rose to 35, a 775-percent increase from four incidents in 2017.
In 2018, mail and parcel interdiction operations in airports and seaports resulted in the arrest of 11 consignees and seizure of 94.67 kg. of shabu, 16,713 pieces of ecstasy tablets, and 1,109.5 grams of marijuana kush, a hybrid marijuana, with a total estimated market value of PHP672,161,877.88.
“Smuggling of dangerous drugs thru courier services is one of the modus/means used by drug syndicates to ensure the supply of illegal drugs in the country,” Aquino said in a statement.
“Out of the interdiction operations conducted, 27 were interception of packages containing illegal drugs that originated from California, USA,” he added.
Aquino attributed the increase to the interception of drug-laden parcels to the enhanced capability of PDEA personnel to detect them.
PDEA agents assigned in the airports and seaports have undergone X-ray cargo screening training conducted by the Office of the Transportation Security.
“They regularly conduct K9 sweeping and parcel screening on all cargo terminals nationwide,” he said.
To stop drug smuggling using vulnerable seaports and airports across the country, PDEA also established three Airport Interdiction Units, three International Airport Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Groups, and 12 Seaport Interdiction Units in its regional office.
Since 2015, the total estimated market value of illegal drugs concealed inside packages that were intercepted by PDEA, with the support of local law enforcement agencies and foreign counterparts, amounted to PHP966,257,517.88.
“PDEA remains vigilant to ensure packages containing illegal drugs are intercepted and kept from being delivered,” the PDEA chief said, thanking the participation of courier service providers in the successful interception of the contrabands. PNA-northboundasia.com