PDEA’s controlled delivery nets P160M in illegal drugs, 2 suspects arrested

CLARK FREEPORT — Government anti-narcotics agents and Bureau of Customs seized Thursday some P160.54 million worth of different kinds of illegal drugs apparently shipped thru a courier service via Clark International Airport.

Two of the alleged consignees were arrested after they admitted as owners of the packages.

The prohibited items, according to Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) director general Usec Aaron Aquino, Includes 19 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) with an estimated street value of P122.4 million; three kilos of high grade marijuana (Kush) worth P3.8 million and 200 pieces of ecstacy tablets, a party drug worth P340,000.

“The contrabands were declared as canned goods when intercepted at the warehouse of a courier service inside Clark International Airport (CRK),” said Aquino in a statement.

Aquino identified the suspects as Edna Valenzuela, alias Belinda Azures, 44, and daughter Judy Ann, 22, both of Naval Street, Barangay San Roque, Navotas City.

“All packages originated from Las Vegas City, Nevada, USA. However, the intended receivers failed to fetch the shipped goods,” Aquino said.

On Wednesday (January 16), PDEA agents brought the packages to the suspects’ residence where they discovered four more kilos of shabu.

Aquino said controlled delivery is a technique used when a consignment of illicit drugs is detected and allowed to go forward under the control and surveillance of law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence against the organizers of such illicit drug traffic.

“The identities and information of the shippers, whose addresses were all in Las Vegas, Nevada, are currently the subject of investigation and validation. Reports revealed that the recent trafficking of drug-laden packages were perpetrated by Mexican Sinaloa Drug Cartel and Chinese drug syndicates,” Aquino added.

Aquino attributed the increase in the interception of drug-laden parcels to the enhanced capability of PDEA personnel to detect them. PDEA agents assigned in the airports and seaports have undergone X-ray cargo screening training conducted by the Office of the Transportation Security (OTS). “They regularly conduct K9 sweeping and parcel screening on all cargo terminals nationwide,” he said.

To stop drug smuggling using vulnerable seaports and airports across the country, PDEA also established three Airport Interdiction Units (AIUs), three International Airport Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Groups (IADITGs), and 12 Seaport Interdiction Units (SIUs) in its regional offices.

Since 2015, the total estimated market value of illegal drugs concealed inside packages that were intercepted by PDEA, with the support of local law enforcement agencies and foreign counterparts, amounted to P1,126,797,518.

“PDEA remains vigilant to ensure packages containing illegal drugs are intercepted and kept from being delivered,” the PDEA chief said, adding that the agency is thankful for the participation of the courier service providers in the successful interception of the contraband.

Cases for violation of Section 4 (Importation of Dangerous Drugs), in relation to Section 26 (Conspiracy to Import), and Section 11 (Possession of Dangerous Drugs), Article II of Republic Act 9165, or The Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, await the suspects. –Jess Malabanan

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