February 17 – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) yesterday foiled an attempt to smuggle into the country 320 drums of toxic hydrochloric acid (HCL) from India at the Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT), Tagoloan Sub-port in Cagayan de Oro City.
Customs Commissioner Nicanor E. Faeldon said 8,000 kg of HCL, with a declared value of P569, 826,40, was found in four 20-footer container vans and consigned to Juchem Enterprises with offices in Butuan City
One of 13 toxic ingredients commonly used to manufacture crystal meth, an illegal drug, HCL has also other industrial uses.
Faeldon said the shipment was the subject of an alert order issued by the Command Center (COMCEN) upon the request of Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence Group Teddy Sandy Raval for suspected violations of dangerous drugs and tariff laws.
“The BOC operates at heightened alert 24/7 against corruption, smuggling, and border security in pursuit of our official tasks and mandate,” said the BOC chief. “This latest incident is just one of many successful operations we have undertaken since we came in seven months ago.”
Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Director Neil Anthony L. Estrella said customs agents and examiners discovered the shipment had no import permits and clearances to import controlled substances during a spot check.
Entry documents showed that the cargo, which arrived in Cagayan de Oro on January 31, was shipped by BTTO Overseas Company from the Port of Jawaharlal Nehru or or Nhava Sheva, the largest container port in India l.