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BOC Seizes P238.2M Marijuana in Balikbayan Boxes


The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has made a significant drug seizure, intercepting a massive haul of dried marijuana concealed in balikbayan boxes originating from Thailand.

According to The Philippines Star, the operation, valued at P238.2 million, underscores the BOC’s ongoing efforts to combat illegal drug trafficking in the country.

Details of the Seizure

According to BOC Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service director Verne Enciso, a series of operations conducted last week led to the discovery of 12 balikbayan boxes containing marijuana. The illicit shipment, misdeclared as consolidated and personal effects, arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

Following a tip-off, CIIS personnel at MICP swiftly responded by requesting the issuance of alert orders for the suspicious shipment. The prompt action allowed authorities to apprehend the boxes and initiate a thorough examination.

Contents of the Shipment

Upon physical examination from March 3 to 8, BOC examiners, alongside representatives from various government agencies, uncovered the illicit contents of the balikbayan boxes. The seizure comprised 198.5 kilos of dried marijuana, divided into 126 packs in one consignment and 138 packs in another. Additionally, 63.5 kilos were concealed within food packages and blankets.

The street value of the confiscated marijuana amounted to P238.2 million. The BOC emphasized the ongoing validation and investigation of the consignees’ names listed on the seized balikbayan boxes and manifest.

Operational Procedure and Cooperation

BOC Deputy Commissioner Juvymax Uy highlighted the meticulous handling of the seized shipment, which was securely padlocked and sealed within the shipping container. The container remains under BOC’s custody until inventory completion, after which it will be transferred to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for further processing.

BOC Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio praised the collaborative efforts of key government agencies and the bureau’s network of sources. Their contributions were instrumental in the successful operation. The seizure underscores the commitment of BOC in safeguarding the country against the scourge of illegal drugs and criminal activities.

Read Also: Teacher Caught in Alleged Drug Session in Cotabato City


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