MANILA - Authorities have arrested the claimant of close to 5,000 pieces of ecstasy tablets worth PHP8.5 million in Las Pinas City on Tuesday, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) reported on Wednesday.
In a statement, BOC-Port of Clark District Collector Alexandra Lumontad said the claimant, who was not identified, was arrested during the controlled delivery operation by members of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Customs Anti-illegal Drugs Task Force (CAIDTF), Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) at the consignee's address in the city.
Lumontad said the shipment from Brussels, Belgium that arrived on Monday was declared as a lamp and subjected to X-ray scanning upon arrival.
X-ray screening results showed images of a possible presence of narcotics concealed inside the lining of the corrugated box. It was also subjected to K9 sweeping which also gave positive indications of illegal drugs.
Upon physical examination, authorities discovered one lamp where six transparent plastic pouches covered with carbon film are concealed. The pouches contained 4,976 pieces of pink and gray ecstasy tablets.
Lumontad issued a warrant of seizure and detention against the subject shipment for violation of Sections 1400, 118 (g), 119 (d) and 1113 par. f, i & l (3 & 4) of Republic Act (RA) 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) in relation to RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
Representative samples were turned over to PDEA for the conduct of chemical laboratory analysis which confirmed that the subject substance was indeed methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or ecstasy, a dangerous drug under RA 9165.
The contraband will be turned over to PDEA for proper disposition and the claimant will be subjected to inquest proceedings.
Meanwhile, BOC records showed that the operation is the seventh major drug apprehension of the Port of Clark for 2021.
To date, it has seized PHP53.5 million worth of illegal drugs. (PNA)