Customs turns over to PDEA last package of smuggled chemicals used in making ecstasy

February 7, 2012 11:11 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 7 – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) turned over to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) the last of the nine packages of chemicals used in making illegal drugs allegedly imported by arrested drug suspect Marvin Sia.

PDEA Director General Jose S. Gutierrez, Jr. said the package contained piperonal, the main ingredient for making ecstasy, was part of the shipment consigned to Marvin Sia, a Filipino-Chinese businessman arrested by elements of PDEA after a controlled delivery operation on Jan. 30, 2012.

“This was the last one of the batch. It arrived after the first eight packages were already marked and turned over to PDEA for safekeeping,” Gutierrez said, explaining that the packages arrived in tranches.

According to the mail and parcel service, the eight packages, declared as sodium tungstate, started arriving from Jan. 13 through Jan. 22, 2012, while the last one arrived on Jan. 27, 2012, after the first eight packages were already turned over to PDEA for temporary custody of confiscated evidence prior to the conduct of controlled delivery operation.

Based on investigation, Sia had previously applied to PDEA for permit to import piperonal, legitimately used in perfumery, in 2009.

However, his application was denied because he failed to meet security requirements. Again in January 2012, he applied for permit to import acetone which was again denied.

On February 3, 2012, Sia was released from the custody of PDEA after the court granted the petition for the “writ of habeas corpus”.

This was despite the review resolution issued by the Department of Justice signed by Undersecretary Francisco Baraan reversing the minute and amended resolution of Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office to release Sia for further investigation. (PNA) RMA/JCA.


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