Lawmaker shines glare on possibly more shabu unflagged at BOC Green Lane

August 3, 2017 - 6:49 PM
Customs broker Mark Taguba
Customs broker Mark Taguba explains the nuts and bolts of customs clearing in the green lane and red lane to senators Vicente Sotto, Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon. Photographed by AVITO DALAN, PNA

MANILA, Philippines – There may be other shipments of drugs with an estimated value of P22.5 billion that are unaccounted for but could already be in the market, Quirino Representative Dakila Cua disclosed on Thursday.

Cua, chairman of the House ways and means committee, said that, based on the E2M (electronic to mobile) automated export declaration system of the Bureau of Customs (BOC), there were supposedly “23 packages” where the shabu shipment was placed, of which five packages were seized in Valenzuela City in May.

“The issue I’m looking at is there are drugs that were smuggled through the green lane. Five crates have been raided so far by the Bureau of Customs, but according to the E2M documentation, there were supposed to be 23 packages of mold, where are the 18 others? These can correspond to more than two tones of shabu with an estimated market value of P22.5 billion,” he said in an interview.

In an earlier hearing of the committee, Cua said the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency were asked to help the BOC locate the 18 packs or crates.

Taiwanese national Richard Tan was identified as the alleged shipper of the P6.4 billion worth of shabu that was discovered in a warehouse in Valenzuela City. The shipment originated in China and entered the country through the so-called “consignee-for-hire” scheme using EMT Trading.

The sole owner of EMT Trading, Eirene Mae Augustino Tatad, acknowledged in an earlier House inquiry that she had no knowledge the shipments contained illegal drugs.