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Shabu worth P45 M seized from Kenyan at NAIA

- Reinir Padua and Rudy Santos () - February 26, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A Kenyan woman suspected to be a member of an African drug syndicate was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 last Friday after she was caught smuggling into the country shabu worth around P45 million.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Jose Gutierrez Jr. said Lina Aching Noah, 36, was arrested after routine customs inspection found the contraband inside her baggage.

Noah was carrying with her a total of 9.36 kilos of shabu, believed to be worth around P45 million.

Noah arrived at the NAIA at around 7 p.m. on Friday on board an Emirates Air flight from Dubai.

She was asked by a Customs examiner if she had anything to declare when she presented her Customs declaration form but she said she had nothing to declare.

She was then invited to the Customs office so authorities could examine her black trolley bag.

When they opened it, authorities were able to get 9.36 kilos of shabu from a false bottom of the bag.

Gutierrez revealed that they had received information from their foreign counterparts about the arrival of the contraband.

With this information, the agency coordinated with the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Immigration in anticipation of her arrival.

Crackdown

Newly-appointed Bureau of Customs-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (BOC-CIIS) director Dino Tuason yesterday said he would launch a crackdown on the importation of illegal drugs into the country.

Tuason, who took his oath last week, said they would also beef up their intelligence network with local and international agencies to curb the importation of illegal drugs and laboratory equipment that are being used in the manufacture of prohibited substances.

“(Illegal) drugs will be number 1 in my list such as drug-related articles, precursors, paraphernalia, equipment. All ports are vulnerable to illegal drugs, whether seaport or the airport and even the postal service,” Tuason said.

Tuason announced his plan to form a strong alliance with the international community after the BOC seized some P90-million worth of ingredients used to produce dangerous drugs, ecstasy party pills and shabu recently.

Even BOC Commissioner Rufino Biazon admitted that there had been an “increasing number of seizures of big volumes” of materials, chemicals and equipment for the production of illegal and dangerous drugs.

Apart from waging a war against the importation of illegal drugs, Tuason said he would also focus on looking for ways to plug the leaks in the revenue collection of the bureau.

The BOC has not been hitting its collection targets recently. It has, in fact, reduced its collection target this year from P365 billion to P347 billion. – With Evelyn Macairan

A KENYAN BUREAU OF CUSTOMS AND THE BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION BUREAU OF CUSTOMS-CUSTOMS INTELLIGENCE AND INVESTIGATION SERVICE COMMISSIONER RUFINO BIAZON CUSTOMS DINO TUASON DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY DIRECTOR GENERAL JOSE GUTIERREZ JR. DRUGS EMIRATES AIR LINA ACHING NOAH TUASON
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