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Customs seizes yacht allegedly used to transport 1.4 tons of illegal drugs to Batangas

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NASUGBU, Batangas – IN an effort to put an end to the continuing saga of illegal drug smuggling in the country, the Bureau of Customs (BOC), in collaboration with the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, conducted a parallel investigation resulting in the seizure of a private yacht used in transporting 1.4 tons of shabu here.

The said illicit drugs, valued approximately at PhP9.68 billion, were intercepted at a police checkpoint in Alitagtag, Batangas on April 15, 2024. Subsequent investigations by the BOC uncovered three additional undocumented private yachts, all belonging to the same individual.

Assisted by the Port of Manila (POM) Customs Investigation and Intelligence Service Field Station (CIIS) led by Intelligence Officer II Joel C. Pinawin, the BOC implementing team, including representatives from the POM Enforcement and Security Service under District Commander Capt. Rodrigo S. Gonzales and the POM Water Patrol Division led by Capt. Fred Agpaoa, executed a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) on June 27, 2024.

The WSD was issued by the POM District Collector Rizalino Jose C. Torralba against the subject vessels for violation of Section 1113 of Republic Act 10863, also known as the “Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.”

The subject private yachts currently docked in Nasugbu, Batangas, will be turned over to the POM Auction and Cargo Disposal Division pursuant to Customs Administrative Order No. 10-2020 “Seizure and Forfeiture Proceedings and Appeals Process.”

The meticulous planning and execution of this operation were spearheaded by Deputy Commissioner Juvymax R. Uy of the Intelligence Group and Deputy Commissioner Teddy Sandy S. Raval of the Enforcement Group.

“President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has tasked us to ensure that our borders are secure, our trade is lawful, and our communities are safe. In response, we have launched a series of comprehensive initiatives aimed at dismantling drug smuggling, among others, through eradicating customs fraud,” stated Customs Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio.

“Our team is working tirelessly to collaborate closely with international partners, law enforcement agencies, and other government bodies to ensure coordinated and effective responses. Their efforts have already yielded significant results, and we are confident that, with continued vigilance, we will disrupt and dismantle these criminal operations,” he emphasized. The operation’s success was significantly bolstered by critical intelligence developed by the CIIS, under the leadership of Director Verne Y. Enciso. The team’s diligent efforts and strategic insights were pivotal in uncovering the location of the undocumented private yachts involved.|

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