(Photo courtesy of BOC)

MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday reported the recent interception of a shipment from Nigeria containing around PHP58.31 worth of shabu in San Andres, Manila.

In a statement, the bureau said the shipment which was intercepted on Aug. 19 was declared as "food stuff".

The illegal drugs were discovered after the shipment was found to have been illegally imported into the country without the necessary import permits from the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Plant Industry (DA-BPI) based on the evaluation and verification of import documents.

Upon 100 percent physical examination, operatives found that the package also contained 8.575 kilos of white crystalline substance inside a white plastic bowl concealed in the packages of various dried spices.

BOC-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) immediately coordinated with DA-BPI as part of due diligence and to further check for other possible violations of the subject importation prior to possible condemnation/disposal by the latter.

Both agencies also coordinated with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), and NAIA-Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (NAIA IADITG) to verify possible inclusions of illegal drugs in the subject packages, considering that the same came from Nigeria, which was previously identified as a possible source of illegal drugs.

A field test conducted by PDEA personnel on the substance later confirmed it as shabu.

The illegal drugs are now under the custody of PDEA for further investigation for profiling and case buildup against personalities involved for possible prosecution for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to Section 1401 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act of 2016.

The BOC said no arrests have been made so far as the investigation is still ongoing. (PNA)