GOLD SMUGGLING. Bureau of Customs (BOC) officers seized at least 24 kg. of assorted gold jewelry, worth about PHP80 million, found hidden inside the lavatory of a passenger aircraft at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Thursday (Nov. 17, 2022). The Customs boarding inspector uncovered the multi-million worth of jewelry during boarding formalities on the airplane. (Photo courtesy of BOC-NAIA)

MANILA – Bureau of Customs (BOC) officers seized at least 24 kg. of assorted gold jewelry, worth about PHP80 million, found hidden inside the lavatory of a passenger aircraft at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

In a statement Friday, BOC-NAIA district collector Carmelita Talusan said the pieces of jewelry were discovered inside Philippine Airlines Flight PR 301, which arrived at NAIA Terminal 2 from Hong Kong on Thursday.

The Customs boarding inspector uncovered the multi-million worth of jewelry during boarding formalities on the airplane.

Talusan has ordered a thorough investigation to identify the persons responsible for the smuggling attempt.

Meanwhile, PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna assured that the flag carrier would cooperate with the authorities while conducting a probe into the attempted smuggling.

"PAL continues to cooperate with the PNP (Philippine National Police) and the BOC to ensure an orderly and thorough probe. Rest assured, the investigation is underway to ferret out the truth behind this incident," Villaluna said.

Talusan assured the stringent implementation of border security measures as directed by Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz.

This complies with the orders of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to stop smuggling into the country. (With a report from Maria Cristina Arayata, PNA)