THE entry of P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs in the country, bypassing the scrutiny of the Bureau of Customs, could have only happened due to corrupt Customs officials, a lawmaker at the House of Rep-resentatives said on Sunday.
Rep. Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte, chairman of the committee on dangerous drugs, was referring to P6.4 billion worth of illegal drugs, particularly “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride), which could have passed through a green lane or a lane for favored importers with a long unblemished rec-ord in transacting with the Bureau of Customs.
“We have to find out who among the Customs employees processed the papers of this shipment that paved the way for its clearance. I don’t believe that Customs employees are not involved in this,” Bar-bers said in a radio interview ahead of his committee investigation on the entry of the illegal drugs.
Barbers said his committee found out that the P6.4 billion worth of drugs were shipped by Hongfei Philippines from Guandong, China to EMT Trading. After bypassing Customs, the shipment was tempo-rarily stored in a warehouse in Paso de Blas, Valenzuela before Philippine authorities were tipped by their Chinese counterparts of the contraband.
Likewise, Barbers claimed that 90 percent of shipment for EMT Trading have been passing through the green lane since March.
“Who are the officials from Customs who have the authority to decide which shipment goes to the green lane and clear the shipment? We’ll find it out so that we can recommend for their prosecution,” Barbers added.