BUREAU of Customs (BoC) Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and members of the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of the General Administration of China Customs on Tuesday started their initial discussions on the two countries’ initiatives and counter measures against illicit trade.
Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Neil Estrella said the two bureaus discussed core areas of cooperation and exchange of information, among other matters that would make their campaign more effective.
“Also included in our discussions were the entry into the country of illegal drugs from China, how they entered the country and what to do to prevent it from happening again,” Estrella added.
When asked how illegal drugs were able to enter the country through Customs, he said “different shippers were used with possible connivance [of]corrupt Customs personnel.”
Estrella refused to elaborate so as not to jeopardize ongoing investigation to pinpoint those responsible.
He was referring to the 605 kilos of shabu seized by elements of the CIIS in a pre-dawn operation in two warehouses in Ugong, Valenzuela City, last month.
The haul has an estimated street value of P6.4 billion.
Customs records show that the cargo was declared as cutting board, footwear, kitchenware and mould and paid P40,033 in duties and taxes.
The illegal drugs were hidden in five one-inch thick metal cylinders, wrapped in another one-inch thick rubber, making it impossible for sniffing dogs to detect or for x-ray machines to penetrate.
Each metal tube contains more than 100 kilos of shabu worth at least P1 billion.
The shipment was uncovered through an information provided by Zhang Xiaohui, director of International Enforcement Cooperation Division of Anti-Smuggling Bureau, General Administration of China Customs.
During their meeting, a delegation from the China Customs expressed confidence that the Customs officials of
both countries will double their efforts toward a more effective information-sharing and intelligence work focused on anti-smuggling operations.
The Customs officials of both countries also exchanged inputs on how to strengthen and improve communication strategies to put a stop to international illicit trade.
Faeldon told the Chinese delegation that Philippine Customs continues to be on guard against smuggling and that international cooperation is significant in this campaign.
Quan Li, chief of the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of Xiamen Customs, led the courtesy call to the Office of the Commissioner together with Xiang Yang Di, deputy director of the First Investigation; Xenchu Xu, head of the Third Section of Anti-Smuggling Bureau of Xiamen, Gaoqui Airport Customs; and Xhixing Wang and Lingzhi Peng, members of Xiamen Customs’ Anti-Smuggling Bureau.