DATE: February 4, 2022

The trafficking of illegal drugs hidden inside packages bound to the Philippines remains in check because of the strengthened cooperation and collaboration with neighboring countries.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Wilkins M Villanueva commended their foreign counterparts for their invaluable assistance in helping the agency intercept smuggled parcels carrying drug contraband.

“Among them is the Shenzhen Customs of China which repeatedly provides PDEA intelligence related to drug smuggling resulting in numerous successful controlled delivery operations,” Villanueva said.

Acting on a tip-off by the Shenzhen Customs, joint operatives of PDEA Regional Office-National Capital Region (RO-NCR) and PDEA Regional Office III conducted a controlled delivery operation on January 23, 2022 to arrest the consignee of the parcel containing 3,034 ecstasy tablets, weighing 1,216.29 grams worth ₱5,157,800.

The parcel, which was shipped from the Netherlands, was declared as solar lights and sent by one Daniel Sotto of Zeemansstraat 80 Zaandam 1506 CW Netherlands, to a certain Evelyn Sotto of 16 Philand Drive, Barangay Pasong Tamo, Tandang Sora, Quezon City.

As soon as they received the package, Sotto, whose real name is Jennica Anieta Abas, together with her sister-cohort Genievie Anieta Abas, were immediately arrested by the operating teams.

On March 18, 2021, China Customs intercepted a transshipment parcel containing methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, weighing 995.9596 grams worth ₱6.77 million hidden inside a book. Originating from South Africa, the package was bound for Cebu City.

On September 10, 2021, China Customs likewise intercepted a package carrying 985.8 grams of shabu worth ₱6.7 million stashed inside an electric airpot flask. The parcel’s country of origin and destination was Lilongwe, Malawi and Angeles City, respectively.

Meanwhile, Shenzhen Anti-Smuggling Bureau was able to intercept a drug-laden package declared as clothing from Cape Town, South Africa bound to be shipped to Hermosa, Bataan on November 26, 2021. Shenzhen Customs informs PDEA about the drugs on route.

On December 1, 2021, PDEA arrested the consignee Arlyne Gemzon y Ramos, a 44-year-old factory worker, in her residence in Barangay Mabuco, Hermosa, Bataan. The operation resulted in the confiscation of 387.5 grams of shabu, with an estimated street value of ₱2.6 million.

“Cognizant of the complexities of the drug problem, PDEA is keen at tapping international support in terms of information-exchange, cross-border law enforcement and customs control, to ensure packages containing illegal drugs are intercepted and kept from being delivered,” the PDEA chief said.

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