Senate detains Bureau of Customs intelligence officer
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - September 13, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate detained on Tuesday night an official of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) after he was cited in contempt during a hearing on the P3.8 billion worth of shabu intercepted by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) at the Manila International Container Port on Aug. 7.

Jimmy Guban, a member of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, was ordered arrested by Sen. Richard Gordon, who chairs the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.

Guban is believed to be a conduit of international drug traffickers in the BOC.

Gordon said Guban lied under oath after it was found out that the BOC official asked Joel Maritana to sign an affidavit, which  cleared SMYD Trading – consignee of the drug shipment – of any involvement in the smuggling.

Guban and Maritana were present during the probe, but the BOC official apparently made it appear that he did not know the latter.

Gordon said Guban, who was relieved from his post last month, could be allegedly involved in drug smuggling.

During the hearing, the BOC official claimed that he tried to help the PDEA after he received a tip from his “handler” in the Philippine National Police whom he identified only as “Acierto.”

Gordon said Acierto was a dismissed police officer.

“Why would Guban do that? Why was he trying to save SMYD?” the senator said, adding he would ask the BOC official to tell all about the drug shipment.

Gordon said he believes Guban has other cohorts in the BOC.

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña told the panel that the supposed operation conducted by Guban was not sanctioned by the bureau.

PDEA chief Aaron Aquino maintained that the intercepted drugs placed in two magnetic lifters were just part of a bigger shipment that slipped past the authorities.

PDEA agents raided a warehouse in General Mariano Alvarez, Cavite where they found four more magnetic lifters brought in by the same firm, but were empty of drugs.

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