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PDEA: strong int’l cooperation spelling success in fight vs “packages” containing drugs

Strengthened cooperation among countries is spelling success versus trafficking of illegal drugs hidden inside packages bound to the Philippines, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) cited at the end of the week.

PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva hailed their foreign counterparts for their invaluable assistance in helping the agency intercept smuggled parcels carrying drug contraband, specifically citing

the Shenzhen Customs of China which repeatedly provides PDEA intelligence related to drug smuggling.

“Successful controlled delivery operations,” Villanueva said like the January 23 arrest of a consignee of a parcel containing 3,034 ecstacy tablets worth P5,157,800.00 in Quezon City.

Acting on a tip-off by the Shenzhen Customs, joint operatives of PDEA Regional Office-National Capital Region (RO-NCR) and PDEA Regional Office III conducted a controlled delivery operation seizing the ecstasy tablets weighing 1,216.29 grams.

The parcel, which was shipped from the Netherlands, was declared as solar lights and sent by Daniel Sotto of Zeemansstraat 80 Zaandam 1506 CW Netherlands, to Evelyn Sotto of 16 Philand Drive, Barangay Pasong Tamo, Tandang Sora, Quezon City.

As soon as they received the package, Sotto, whose real name is Jennica Anieta Abas, together with her sister-cohort Genievie Anieta Abas, were immediately arrested, Villanueva said.

Last year on March 18, China Customs intercepted a transshipment parcel containing methamphetamine hydrochloride, or shabu, weighing 995.9596 grams worth ₱6.77 million hidden inside a book. Originating from South Africa, the package was bound for Cebu City.

Again on September 10, 2021, China Customs intercepted a package carrying 985.8 grams of shabu worth ₱6.7 million tucked inside an electric airpot flask. The parcel came from Lilongwe, Malawi and was bound for Angeles City, Pampanga.

Meanwhile, Shenzhen Anti-Smuggling Bureau was able to intercept a drug-laden package declared as clothing from Cape Town, South Africa bound to be shipped to Hermosa, Bataan on November 26, 2021.

Shenzhen Customs informs PDEA about the drugs on route, Villanueva stressed. On December 1, 2021, PDEA arrested the consignee Arlyne Gemzon, a 44-year-old factory worker, in Barangay Mabuco, Hermosa, Bataan and seized 387.5 grams of shabu valued at P2.6 million.

“Cognizant of the complexities of the drug problem, PDEA is keen at tapping international support in terms of information-exchange, cross-border law enforcement and customs control, to ensure packages containing illegal drugs are intercepted and kept from being delivered,” Villanueva said.

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