February 25, 2017 – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will join hands with China’s Fujian Provincial Drug Law Enforcement Agency (FPDLEA) in the fight against the smuggling of illegal drugs into the country.
Director Neil Anthony Estrella of the CustomsIntelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) welcomed the move as a landmark partnership in support of the government’s ongoing war against illegal drugs.
The Philippines and China have agreed to enhance its exchange of intelligence and technology in fighting crimes involving drugs, including the training of operatives and techniques in detecting illegal drugs.
“This will be the onset of the comprehensive interactionand engagement of the BOC, PDEA, and China’s FPDLEA against the transnational illegaldrugs operations of international drugs syndicates” he said.
FPDLEA is led by Wei Xiaojun, Deputy SecretaryGeneral/Deputy Director General of Office of Narcotics Control Commission, ofChina’s Ministry of Public Security.
Apart from its primary function of revenue collection,the BOC is also responsible for preventing the entry of illegal cargo in thecountry’s ports of entry.
Estrella cited a report from the Customs Anti-IllegalDrugs Task Force (CAIDTF) that it hadintercepted last year 30 illegal drugs shipments of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu),ecstacy, cocaine and marijuana, all valued at P337,160,201.
“In July this year, the BOC recorded its biggest haulof shabu with an estimated value of P1.2 billion found in an abandoned farm inCagayan province. About P2.2 billion-worth of illegal drugs has been seized bythe BOC within the six-month period of the present leadership,” he added.
Illegal drugs are transported into the country through fishing vessels and shabu laboratories. On February 17, the BOC recovered 320 drums of imported hydrochloric acid, one of the components in making shabu, atthe Mindanao Container Terminal Tagoloan Sub-port in Cagayan de Oro City.
Shen Yuen, Deputy Director of OperationDivision, China’s Office of Control Commission said the new anti-illegal drugspartnership forged between the twocountries was one of the highlights ofPresidenat Duterte’s four-day state visit to China in October last year.
China has similar arrangements with Japan, Australia, and New Zealand to combat the drug menace. #