BIG CATCH. Anti-illegal drug operatives process the 21.215 kg of suspected shabu, with an estimated street value of PHP144.3 million, seized from a South African national (seated) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City on Friday (Aug. 19, 2022). The illegal shipment was detected in the suspect’s luggage. (Photo from BOC Facebook)

MANILA – A South African national carrying 21.215 kg. of suspected shabu, with an estimated street value of PHP144.3 million, was arrested by agents of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Pasay City on Friday.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the BOC said the luggage of the male passenger was subjected to K9 sweeping and X-ray scanning, resulting in the discovery of the illegal shipment.

The arresting team has been monitoring the travel activities of the courier, later identified to be from South Africa and who has also been to Qatar.

He is under the custody of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and will be charged with violation of Republic Act Nos. 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, and 10863, also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The arrest was a coordinated effort among agents of BOC, PDEA, and NAIA’s Inter-Agency Anti-Illegal Drugs Task Group.

The seizure follows the interception of three parcels of illegal drugs valued at PHP14.7 million on August 11.

One outbound parcel contained 300 grams of suspected shabu concealed inside a wall sticker while two inbound parcels had party drugs Ecstasy hidden inside cartons and bed sheets. (With a report from Ferdinand Patinio/PR)