• Ombudsman to probe entry of P6.4B shabu

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    The Office of the Ombudsman has formed a panel to investigate the shipment of P6.4 billion of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) into the country early this year.

    “The Office of the Ombudsman has created a panel to conduct a fact-finding investigation into alleged anomalies in the release of P6.4 billion worth of Methamphetamine hydrochloride or ‘shabu,’ through the green lane of the Bureau of Customs,” the office said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

    “The release was allegedly facilitated by [then-] public officials who were identified by” Mark Ruben Taguba 2nd, it added.

    The Senate and the House of Representatives have conducted separate inquiries into the matter.

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    One of the findings of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs was that “the classification of cargoes into Green, Yellow and Red Lane…is porous and vulnerable.”

    Based on the executive summary of the committee’s 57-page report, Chen Ju Long a.k.a Richard Tan/Richard Chen, owner of Hong Fei China (Xiamen), made arrangements with Manny Li for the facilitation of the shipment. Li contacted Kenneth Dong who allegedly engaged Taguba’s services.

    Taguba allegedly “used…Eirene Mae Tatad’s EMT Trading…to pose as the consignee of the shipment.”
    Taguba used his trucking firm to load and deliver the container to the warehouse of Hong Fei Logistics in Valenzuela City.

    “Taguba was able to do all these with ease through his connections in the BOC who allegedly received ‘tara’ from him,” the report added.

    By paying off his contact, Taguba “was able to have all his shipments classified and pass through the green lane,” the report said.

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