By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Reporter
THE Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) filed a criminal complaint before the Department of Justice against a Chinese national and 16 others for the importation of P1.8 billion-worth of shabu discovered last March at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).
In a press statement, PDEA said it recommended the charging of violation of Section 4 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 (Importation of Dangerous Drugs) against Chinese national Xu Zhi Jian alias Jacky Co and 16 others.
“Documents and affidavits would show that the acts committed by the respondents have a vital connection to the chain of conspiracy, that without such acts, the unlawful importation would be unsuccessful,” PDEA Director General Aaron N. Aquino was quoted as saying.
“Filing the appropriate charges will serve as a warning to those individuals, especially to government employees, who extend assistance in drug trafficking,” Mr. Aquino said, adding that the PDEA strengthens its coordination with foreign countries to end the bulk smuggling of illegal drugs.
Officials and directors of Wealth Lotus Empire Corporation and Fortuneyield Cargo Services Corporation, the alleged consignees of the shipment, are also included in the complaint.
A joint operative of the PDEA and other government offices and MICP on March 22 resulted in the confiscation of 276,344.82 grams of shabu in MICP-Container Freight Station 3, following an information from their counterparts in Vietnam.
PDEA conducted backtracking investigation which showed that the illegal drugs were concealed using legally imported merchandise (plastic resins) to escape detection.
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson, in a privileged speech on May 29, also named Mr. Xu as the person behind the illegal drugs shipment.
According to the senator, Mr. Xu fled to Vietnam on April 3, soon after the seizure of the shipment.
For his part, Justice Secretary Menardo I Guevarra told reporters in a text message: “The DOJ will direct the NBI to conduct its own investigation of the subject illegal drug importation and, if evidence warrants, to file the appropriate complaint against the persons found responsible therefore.”
Mr. Guevarra also said the Chinese national has a pending case in China, according to the Consul General of China. “However, he is not in the Interpol watchlist, and this is certified by the Interpol NCB (National Central Bureau) Manila.”