P57.5-M shabu hidden in toys seized in Pasay

MANILA — The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA-IADITG) have intercepted PHP57.5 million worth of suspected methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu hidden in a package of toys in Pasay City.

In a press conference Monday, PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino said the contraband was discovered on separate dates when authorities conducted random K9 sweeping operation and X-ray screening of inbound packages.

Around 8 p.m. on November 29, Aquino said that joint elements of PDEA and NAIA inter-agency task group, intercepted a package containing approximately six kilograms of suspected shabu worth PHP30 million at a local branch of a multinational courier delivery service along Andrews Avenue.

Aquino said the shabu parcels were sent by a certain Mr. Tyler Wilson with address at No. 4313 Sepulveda Boulevard, Culver City, California 90230, and the consignees were identified as Rogelio Almodiel of No. 11 North Stamford Residence, Tower 2, Upper McKinley Road corner Florence Way Road, Taguig City; and Hasmine Erquiza of No. 32 Vicente España Subdivision, Barangay Tatalon, Quezon City

On December 4, around 10:30 a.m., the same operating unit intercepted another parcel consigned to Erquiza which contained more or less 5.5 kilos of suspected shabu worth PHP27.5 million. The parcel was passed off as children’s toys and puzzles.

“The package was declared as toys (wooden blocks-Christmas edition) and its intended receiver was Almodiel,” Aquino said.

Aquino said that when the parcels were delivered to the consignees’ addresses, both failed to show up.

Almodiel and Erquiza will be charged for violation of Section 4 (Importation of Dangerous Drugs), Article II of Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. The identities and information of the sender and consignees indicated in the parcels are presently the subject of investigation and validation.

The task group is an inter-agency collaboration headed by PDEA whose members include the MIAA, Office for Transportation Security, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice-National Prosecution Service, Bureau of Customs, Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group, Bureau of Immigration, and the PNP Aviation Security Group.

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