The Bureau of Customs (BOC) based at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport intensified its efforts in the last two quarters of 2016 to fight illegal drugs, corruption and smuggling.
As a result, the BOC-NAIA enhanced its revenue collections, intercepted the entry of some P242 million-worth of high-grade cocaine, and seized devices and paraphernalia used for money laundering and illegal gambling.
Year-on-year collections went up by 28 percent from P1.36 billion in 2015 to P1.9 billion in 2016, according to a report by the Bureau to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd.
Actual collections amounted to P8.3 billion in the third quarter and P8.4 billion in the fourth quarter.
For the entire year, the BOC-NAIA’s collections reached P33.7 billion as of the third week of December, which is 93.8 percent of the full-year target of P36.12 billion.
Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon also required accredited public bonded warehouses to provide the BOC the necessary tools and equipment, such as X-ray machines, CCTVs, and computers to enhance its revenue collection and strengthen enforcement initiatives.
Cash collections with monetized currencies seized by the BOC from different airline passengers since January 2016 have reached P33.7 billion.
Dominguez lauded the BOC-NAIA for the arrest of suspected drug couriers with the help of airport and drug enforcement authorities.
On Nov. 14, the BOC-NAIA Interagency Drug Interdiction Group (IADIG), apprehended Malaysian Nasir Uddin Bin Mohd Hasnan after he was found to be carrying 4.6 kilos of high-grade cocaine with an estimated street value of P23 million.
In October 17, Genesis Lorena Pineda Salazar was found to be carrying 4.3 kilograms of cocaine worth P21.5 million.
The Customs team at the NAIA in close coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency also arrested on Oct. 15 Brazilian Yasmin Silva who was found to be carrying 6.8 kilos of cocaine with a street value of P34 million.
On Oct. 5, two Chinese from Hong Kong and a Russian were arrested at the airport for trying to smuggle 27.9 kilos of cocaine with a street value of P139.5 million.
In several operations, the BOC-NAIA also seized suspected gun parts and accessories and other suspicious items in commercial quantities from October to December last year.