All resin imports will now be issued an alert order by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) after the recent seizure of P1.8 billion worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (locally known as shabu) misdeclared as plastic resin.
In a memorandum dated March 24, Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero instructed all district collectors to place on alert all containerized shipments declared as resin, in view of the apprehension made at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on March 22.
Guerrero, in a text message to PortCalls, said the directive is “part of our follow-up operation in connection with the shipment that was discovered in MICP.”
An alert order prompts inspection of a shipment to verify derogatory information made against it.
A 40-foot shipment from China declared as plastic resin and consigned to Wealth Lotus Empire Corporation arrived at MICP on March 17. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) received information that a vessel that arrived in Manila from Vietnam contained huge amounts of illegal drugs, prompting BOC to conduct an inspection.
BOC and PDEA found 12 sacks containing items designed to look like tea products as they were wrapped in clear cellophane and sealed in foil packaging. Upon testing a sample of the substance, authorities were able to confirm that the shipment was shabu weighing a total of 276 kilograms.
BOC has already revoked the customs accreditation of the involved consignee and customs broker Jane Castillo, and will file appropriate charges against them. – Roumina Pablo