By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

BUSTED. Members of the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group arrest the consignee of a shabu shipment worth PHP218 million in an operation in Pasay City on Wednesday evening (April 17, 2024). The suspect was identified as 28-year-old Christine Tigranes. (Photo courtesy of PDEG)

MANILA – Authorities arrested the consignee of a shabu shipment worth PHP218 million at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Complex in Pasay City on Wednesday evening.

In a report on Thursday, Philippine National Police Drug Enforcement Group (PDEG) chief Brig. Gen. Dionisio Bartolome Jr. said the suspect, 28-year-old Christine Tigranes, was arrested by members of the NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group in an operation at the People’s Air Cargo and Warehousing Co., Inc. (PAIRPAGS), NAIA Complex Pasay City around 8:30 p.m.

The police seized from the suspect four parcels concealed in a machinery muffler containing white crystalline substance suspected to be shabu weighing around 32.13 kg.

The suspect and pieces of evidence were brought to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) office for proper documentation and disposition.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said the shipment arrived from Zimbabwe on April 13 and was initially declared as “machinery muffler.”

Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio said the shipment was subjected to profiling after they received derogatory information on its contents.

“Our Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service at NAIA verified the information we received. After which, we tasked the X-ray Inspection Project to inspect the dubious images that were then found to be suspicious,” Rubio said in a statement.

“This operation is in line with our President’s directive to intensify our anti-drugs smuggling campaign by using our massive international and local networks to determine the source of the illegal drugs trade.”

The suspect will face charges for violation of Section 118 (prohibited importation and exportation) and Section 1400 (misdeclaration) in goods declaration in relation to Section 1113 (property subject to seizure and forfeiture) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002. (with a report from Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)