PDEA seizes P34-M shabu shipped from US

January 26, 2018 - 9:15 AM
PDEA chief Aaron Aquino (right) and Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapena present the seized drugs and the two suspects. (handout)

MANILA, Philippines — Anti-narcotics agents seized more than P34 million worth of crystal meth, or shabu, shipped from the United States during a “controlled delivery operation” in Trece Martirez, Cavite Wednesday, January 24, and arrested two suspects who received the contraband.

Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency director general Aaron Aquino said they mounted the operation, defined under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 as an investigation technique or a form of entrapment in which contraband is allowed to be shipped “under the supervision of an authorized officer, “with a view of gathering evidence to identify any person involved in any dangerous drugs related offense, or to facilitate prosecution of that offense,” after receiving an email on Tuesday from Steven Sampilo, assistant attaché of Homeland Security Investigations at the U.S. embassy in Manila.

Sampilo informed PDEA about two packages sequestered at a forwarding company in Pampanga that were similar to packages containing 36 pound of methamphetamine seized earlier from the same shipper in Baldwik Park, California.

PDEA then ordered its Central Luzon office to coordinate with the Bureau of Customs at Clark and the Customs Anti-Illegal Drug Task Force to arrange fo the controlled delivery after confirming the contents of the suspect packages.

Early Wednesday evening, PDEA and BOC agents arrested Mauricia de Padua, 36, and Suriong Taib III, 37, both of Timalan, Concepcion, Naic, Cavite as they received the packages, which yielded 6.89 kilos of shabu worth some P34,450,000.

The packages were shipped by Christian Lozano of 1708 Arlington Ave., Hacienda Heights, and Robert Gutierrez of 1001 Azalea Drive, Alhambra, both in California, and consigned to Leonel Adriano Romero and Raymond Cruz Miranda, both of 0026 Block 2, Block CH, Quintana, Cabuco, Trece Martirez.