MANILA, Philippines – A man was arrested in Parañaque City on Monday for claiming four boxes sent from Hong Kong, which contained 40 kilos of shabu worth P200 million.
Danilo Pineda, a resident of Asuncion, Manila, ended up behind bars when agents of the Anti Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Bureau of Customs detained him after he went to pick up the cargo.
Chief Insp. Roque Merdegia, AIDSOTF spokesperson, said the shabu was stuffed inside the cylinder of a green water pump in each of the four boxes.
Each box contained 10 kilos of shabu sent from Hong Kong, with a value of P120 million to P200 million.
“We received a tip that shabu was being sent from abroad through our airports, and that a shipment would be sent in December,” Merdegia said.
Last December 29, four boxes arrived from Hong Kong via a Cathay Pacific flight, CX 903, consigned to a certain Danilo Pineda.
Authorities waited for Pineda to pick up the package, but because of the extended holidays, offices only opened again on Monday.
On Monday at around 2 p.m., Pineda arrived at the warehouse where the boxes were being kept.
Merdegia said the AIDSOTF, in coordination with the PDEA and BOC, apprehended the man as he claimed the questionable packages.
The boxes were run through an X-ray detector, which revealed suspicious-looking substances inside the water pumps. These turned out to be the shabu smuggled inside the packages.
Upon inspection, each 10-kilogram-package of shabu in the four boxes was sealed inside a black garbage bag.
Pineda denied any knowledge of the contraband, saying he was only ordered to pick up the boxes.
But he eventually admitted that he has been importing water pumps from Hong Kong to Manila since 2014.
“We are coordinating with our international counterparts in backtracking and tracing who was sending the water pumps to Pineda in the past,” Merdegia said.
The police official added that the consignee might be part of a larger drug syndicate importing drugs from abroad.
Pineda will be charged with importation of dangerous drugs under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, a non-bailable offense punishable with life imprisonment.